A SIX-goal haul by Warrnambool teenager Jye Turland wasn’t enough to spare him the axe, while Camperdown star Sam Chapman is no guarantee to play this weekend after a dramatic round of Hampden league selections last night.
Turland was one of three youngsters who made way for the return of three stars ahead of the Blues’ second semi-final showdown with Cobden at Koroit’s Victoria Park tomorrow.
The league’s leading goalkicker Jason Rowan (quad) and midfielder Damien McCorkell (hamstring) return to the side that thumped Port Fairy by 146 points two weeks ago.
After missing the round 18 match and with the Blues having a bye last weekend, coach Scott Carter described the duo as primed for the match.
North Ballarat Roosters defender Liam Hoy was named for his first senior game since the Blues lost the 2009 grand final.
Cobden, fresh from a 12-point win over Camperdown in the qualifying final, named an unchanged 21 as it searches for the club’s first grand final berth since 2007.
First semi-final opponens Camperdown and North Warrnambool Eagles named extended interchange benches for their clash at the Friendly Societies’ Park on Sunday.
Camperdown named a seven-man bench out of necessity, with several players in doubt.
Coach Bernard Moloney said star midfielder Chapman, who suffered a scratch to the cornea in the first five minutes of last week’s loss to the Bombers, had consulted an eye specialist this week.
“He’s got a fairly serious eye injury,” Moloney said.
“They had to trim around the pupil.”
He said the Magpies would wait on his availability for as long as they could.
“If he’s not right, we won’t play him,” he said.
Key forward Nick Bateman, who suffered back spasms last week, has undergone treatment but is also no certainty to play.
The complicating factor for the Magpies is their reserves play tomorrow in the second semi-final and they don’t want to hold players out in case a senior player does come up and then miss out on a game altogether.
North Warrnambool Eagles also named a six-man bench and will finalise its side tonight after training.
Coach David Haynes said he had a number of options to replace forward Mat Buck, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in Sunday’s elimination final win over Koroit.
Matt Brophy, Tom Ludeman, Ryan McElgunn and Josh Monaghan are all in the mix to claim Buck’s spot. Brophy was unlucky to miss out last week, having played the previous seven matches. He was squeezed out by the return of VFL-listed Marcus Darmody.