JORDAN Dillon is ready to face a player he rates as one of his toughest opponents.
The North Warrnambool Eagles ruckman will line up against Koroit premiership player Jeremy Hausler in the Hampden league grand final rematch at Victoria Park.
Dillon, who will celebrate 100 senior club games on Saturday, said Hausler and Cobden coach Levi Dare were always difficult to play on.
“Most ruckmen these days are pretty handy,” he said.
“Jezza, I have got to be wary of him because he moves around the ground well and with Levi you’ve probably got to show a fair bit of respect because he’s a smart player.
“They both can hurt you going forward.”
Dillon, 27, hopes he can catch opposition defences off guard these days too.
The former South Warrnambool tall, who has carried the Eagles’ number one ruck mantle since crossing in 2012, enjoys moving forward.
“I probably started off more a defensive sort,” he said.
He gained confidence in attack as he added strength and found himself clunking marks more regularly.
“Probably being told by the coaching staff to have a bit of a crack when I was playing forward as well (helped me settle in the forward line),” Dillon said.
Ben Mugavin – another Eagle who started his career at the Roosters – has pinch-hit in the ruck during his time at Bushfield Recreation Reserve.
He said Dillon gave the Eagles’ onballers confidence.
“He’s fantastic. He’s dangerous up forward, he’s got great hands around the ground,” Mugavin said.
“When he’s on he’s really enjoyable to watch. I’m looking forward to what he can do this weekend that’s for sure.”
The milestone comes after injury setbacks, including a broken arm which practicially wiped out his second season at Bushfield in 2013.
“It’s frustrating but you’ve got to put up with it,” Dillon said.
“I broke my arm and that was probably the worst I’ve had and I’ve had knee troubles.
“I’ll get over them hopefully soon and be ready to roll for the rest of the year.”
North Warrnambool lost its first Hampden league senior grand final – a feat achieved in their 19th season – to Koroit in 2016.
Dillon said the Eagles, which have a 4-4 win-loss record after a shaky start, were building and were eager to test themselves against Koroit.
“I think we’ll be no worries going forward,” Dillon said.
“We probably lost a couple of games we could have won early and it probably hurt our ladder position a bit.
“But we have got a couple coming back and a few of the older blokes started the season later as well.”