Woonton gets his Merrivale stripes

JOE Woonton will make his much-anticipated season debut when Merrivale hosts South Rovers at Merrivale tomorrow.

The Tigers have included Woonton, a key-position utility, as one of two changes to the side which lost to Allansford in round one.

Defender Nathan McInerney also comes into the side. Recruits Rhys Raymond (whiplash) and Matthew Peake (hamstring) drop out through injury.

Merrivale coach Karl Dwyer said Woonton, who has crossed from Northcote Park and has spent time at Koroit, would be a welcome presence in the forward line.

"He's come from a higher league, the Northern Football League in Melbourne, which is good footy, better than the Hampden league," he said.

Opponents South Rovers have made four changes to the side which lost to Kolora-Noorat, with ruckman Jordan Kavanagh the biggest omission.

Jack Hancocks, Lachlan Cowell and Daniel Clifford also drop out. Captain Julian Claridge, Jack Downie, Jess McCosker and Daniel Pender are the inclusions.

The saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" rang true at the Allansford selection table, with the Cats naming an unchanged side to take on Panmure at Panmure.

An ankle injury to Matt Wheaton forced Panmure to make a solitary change, bringing in Dan Ryan.

"He's got scans this week so he'll get results next week but I think he'll be out for two or three," coach Simon O'Keefe said of Wheaton.

"He was injury-riddled last year as well, he had a bad run. He played the first couple then got injured. He's definitely a valuable player for us."

Old Collegians will take in the same 21 players but have added a teenage substitute for their match against Kolora-Noorat at Davidson Oval.

The Warriors opted against taking advantage of the sub rule last weekend but have named Ben Rantall to wear the green vest.

Kolora-Noorat has made three changes but could make at least two more before the first bounce tomorrow.

Five players Tim Attrill, Damien Wynd, Warren Attrill and teenagers Mitchell Carlin and Luke Tebble are the inclusions.

George O'Sullivan, Thomas Lenehan and Paul McSween are the omissions, with two still to drop back.

Assistant coach Ben Jansen and recruit Troy McCormack headline four inclusions to the Russells Creek side for its clash against Nirranda at Mack Oval.

Jansen was a late omission last weekend but will provide the Kangaroos with welcome experience and leadership through the midfield.

Ben van Zelst and Paul Malabar are also in.

Ty Ingham, Jackson Bell, recruit Brent Goonan and Cameron Finlayson are the outs.

General soreness has ruled Mark Foster and Brendan Foster out of the Nirranda side. Tyler Coates and recruit Luke Kensit come in.

East Warrnambool has made two voluntary changes for its match against Deakin University at Reid Oval.

Peter Shepherd and Jackson Fary both late omissions last weekend are welcome inclusions, at the expense of Isaac Bermingham and James Reid.

Deakin University has claimed a late recruiting coup in the form of West Gambier defender Mitchell Laube.

Laube is one of three inclusions for Deakin University. Ruckman Mitchell Hodgson comes in, as does teenager Will Berryman who is the substitue.

Jake Zippel and teen Nathan Parsons miss out while Daniel Down has crossed to South Warrnambool after making his Sharks debut last weekend.

And Shane Graham will make his long-awaited return for Dennington when the Dogs travel to Timboon.

The addition of Graham, who broke an ankle last season before his campaign could seriously get going, is one of two changes for the visitors.

Ben Morris has also come in. Jackson Chatfield (hamstring), John Vincent (omitted) and substitute Jack Fitzgerald are out.

Timboon Demons left out teen Adam Doak, Simon Harkness and Dean Whitehead and added forward Neil Gowland.

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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