TERANG Mortlake teenager Josh Carlin will make his TAC Cup debut in front of a south-west crowd on Sunday.
Carlin was named Geelong Falcons’ 23rd man for their fixture against North Ballarat Rebels at Reid Oval and was told of his impending debut at training last night.
A knee injury undermined the 188-centimetre forward’s start to the season but Falcons coach Andy Allthorpe said Carlin’s past six weeks for the Bloods at under 18½ level warranted a call-up.
Carlin will play as a third tall forward option against the third-placed Rebels who are on a seven-game winning streak.
“It kept him out for the first six or seven weeks of the season so he’s been back for four or five games now,” Allthorpe said.
“He really bought into his rehab and worked hard to get his body right.
“It’s a good opportunity for him to play, especially in front of family and friends.”
Allthorpe said Carlin, one of two south-west players on the Falcons’ list, deserved a chance at TAC Cup level.
The Falcons listed him in March despite carrying a knee complaint.
“He impressed us in pre-season. His whole body shape changed. He toned up and got fitter,” Allthorpe said.
“He’s super organised and super keen to improve his footy.”
North Ballarat Rebels will have a strong south-west flavour.
Warrnambool trio Tom Schnerring, Thomas Ludeman and Luke McLeod, Hamilton Kangaroos’ Eric Guthrie and Portland duo Rowan Marshall and Tom Templeton are in the Rebels’ line-up.
South Warrnambool tall Dom Moloney, who was set to debut, hurt his knee at training last night and won’t play.
Rooster Liam Howarth is an emergency for the 1pm clash at Reid Oval.