TEENAGERS will make up almost half South Warrnambool’s line-up against Portland today.
Five of the Roosters’ six additions for the round four clash at Friendly Societies’ Park are eligible for the under 18½ side.
Vic Country representative Kyden Jarvis will make his senior debut, playing a small forward role, while fellow up-and-comers Liam Howarth, Michael Pritchard, Jack Lee and Jake O’Sullivan were recalled.
Former South Rovers tall Scott Nicolson was also called up for his senior South Warrnambool debut.
Nicolson will play a variety of roles: in the ruck, up forward or in defence.
South Warrnambool coach Matthew Monk said five of the changes were forced.
Defender Jayden Askew (concussion), Kym Eagleson (hamstring), Jakob Templeton (ankle), Brad Parsons (scaphoid) and Sam Thomas (unavailable) couldn’t be considered.
Monk said the winless Roosters wanted to get games into their young players.
“Four of the five (we brought) in played senior footy last year,” he said.
“Every week we’ve lacked something and it was clear we had no speed.
“Howarth, Jarvis and O’Sullivan all bring terrific speed and we need to capitalise on that.”
Monk said Jarvis, still only 16, played his junior football in the middle. He said the North Ballarat Rebels’ under 16s player would bring “spark and pace” to the forward line.
Monk said South expected a fierce contest from Portland.
“It will be a pretty miserable day so that will bring it back a little bit as long as the 21 picked are keen and take it contest by contest,” he said.
Portland coach Jake Myles said he was confident the Tigers had learnt from their surprise round two loss to Port Fairy and were ready to tackle their second away trip of the season.
“We have to go over with the right attitude,” he said.
“We are in no position to be thinking too far ahead.”
Myles said while South was an inexperienced side, complacency would cost.
“Last week they had 19 scoring shots against Koroit,” he said.
“They will be hard to beat and we have to do what we did in the last quarter last week, when we took risks and were clean with the footy.
“We need to run from half-back and use the footy well.”
Portland defender Luke Van Heugten will play his 200th game for the club.