SOUTH Warrnambool teenager Shannon Beks’ performances for Vic Country’s under 16 side have paved the way for him to make his Hampden league senior debut.
The forward-cum-ruckman was last night named for the Roosters’ round 13 clash against Portland — a side they surprised in round four — at Hanlon Park tomorrow.
South Warrnambool coach Matthew Monk said Beks, who slotted four goals in Vic Country’s final AFL under 16 national championships game earlier this month, deserved a chance to show his wares.
“He’s been on our radar for quite a while and from a selection point-of-view the match committee has been keen for him to get a taste coming off the Australian carnival,” he said.
“He kicked goals and it certainly suggested he deserved a crack, particularly when we are void of a recognised ruckman and key forwards don’t grow on trees.”
Beks’ Vic Country under 16 teammate Kyden Jarvis also returns to the senior line-up and could play alongside him in the forward line.
Wingman Tim Ryan was also included after he was a late withdrawal through illness against Koroit last weekend.
Portland added its own representative player, bringing in in-form North Ballarat Rebels midfielder Tom Templeton for his first senior game of the season.
Templeton has been among the Rebels’ best this season and was named in the initial Vic Country under 18 squad.
Tigers coach Jake Myles said the club was thrilled Templeton would play for his home club on the TAC Cup’s bye weekend.
“It will be a pretty good experience for him against senior footballers,” he said.
“He’ll give us a bit more run and a bit of polish through the midfield.
“He got a taste for it last year in the senior and he really works hard.”
The Tigers also brought in ruckman Michael Amor and utility Ethan Blacksell.
Teenager Daniel Jackson is expected to miss a couple of weeks with a bruised kidney.
He spent two nights in hospital after he was injured early in Portland’s loss to Hamilton Kangaroos last weekend.
Kye Richardson and Paul Young were omitted.
Koroit bolstered its line-up for its match against Camperdown at Victoria Park, naming experienced defensive trio Chris McLaren (calf), Joe McLaren (Vic Country commitments) and Tim Carter (illness).
Jesse White, Matt Bushell and Nick Whiting made way.
Saints coach Adam Dowie labelled their three ins “terrific”. “They are obviously quality, experienced players and are in our best side,” he said.
“We did really well last week to cover them but if they are available they obviously play.”
Vic Country utility Paul Hinkley and assistant coach Sam Harkin headline Cobden’s inclusions as it attempts to stretch its unbeaten streak against North Warrnambool Eagles at Cobden Recreation Reserve.
Promising teenager Christian Koroneos, Ben Robertson and Thomas Ludeman were also elevated to the senior side.
Defender Bart Phillips (work commitments), ruckman Ash Rohan (unavailable), midfielder Daniel Watson (VFL) and Jake Evans (omitted) will miss.
North Warrnambool Eagles welcome back defender Brendan Murfett (calf) and midfielder Dean Gavin (ankle) from long-term injuries and also elevated teenage forward Josh Corbett.
Eagles coach Bernard Moloney said they were strong inclusions.
“It adds a bit of experience and strength to the back line with ‘Murph’ and Dean will give us good run and carry which will be important against Cobden,” he said.
“Josh up forward gives us another tall target with Tom Batten and Ben Mugavin.”
Warrnambool teenager Jackson Bell returns to the Blues’ outfit after a standout performance for Vic Country’s under 19 team last weekend.
The classy midfielder-forward, who kicked four goals for Vic Country after earning a late call-up, replaces fellow teenager Otto Opperman for the Blues clash with Terang Mortlake at Reid Oval.
Terang Mortlake, coming off back-to-back wins, added defender Tyson Densley (overseas) for the omitted Matthew Arundell.
Hamilton Kangaroos lost Jayden Riddle to a bruised hip and promising teenager Jordan Murphy, who had played every game to date, to illness for their Sunday clash against Port Fairy at Gardens Oval.
The Seagulls named an extended bench, with leading forward Sam McCartney the only confirmed out.