THE return of several key midfielders is expected to prop up Russells Creek as the Mack Oval club vies to regain confidence after a round three walloping.
Creek has named utility Andrew McMeel to return after missing a week, while former captain Marcus Askew will also join six other players returning to the team.
Kangaroos mentor Heath Moloney has also gifted a senior opportunity to promising youngster Luke Featherby.
Midfield Brad Rees will also provide more depth.
Moloney tipped his side to be helped by more options for midfield rotations.
“Through our forward line, we have a few players capable of coming back up to run through the midfield,” he said.
“The on-ballers were a bit run off their feet (against Kolora-Noorat). We needed a couple more targets up forward, too, and we have that.
“We go into every game confident but you have to be wary. You can’t just go into games blinded. We need to play defensively and to go from there.”
South Rovers – fresh off a win over Timboon Demons – have made just one change and will go in with an extended bench.
Lions coach Adam Matheson said the return of Kevin Moloney would give his side’s tall stocks more flexibility.
“He’s a utility, and will give us more room to move down forward or back. He can also pinch-hit the ruck,” Matheson said.
“In Max Croft and Tom Hopkins, we’ll get two on-ballers. Max has been around the club since he was a junior and Tom crossed from Kolora-Noorat.”
Meanwhile, Dennington will be hit by the loss of spearhead forward Chris Keilar, ruckman Billy Keane, youngster Darcy Johnstone and Luke Duncan.
Allansford will regain Port Fairy recruit Sam Martin, but will miss Trav Membrey (shoulder) and Brad Williams (unavailable).
Reigning premier Nirranda is lamenting the loss of recruit Will Paulin, who is expected to miss between two to three weeks with injury, while Dylan Lees and Hayden Scoble won’t play against Kolora-Noorat.
Mathew Lloyd, Dylan Willsher and Lachlan Blake will replace the trio.
Kolora-Noorat has also named captain Joey Conheady, Matt Harkin, Jason Moloney, Ben Kenna and Paul McSween to return.