Merrivale's dwindling midfield stocks have been boosted

RETURNING: Merrivale's Josh Brown has been named to take on East Warrnambool on Saturday. Picture: Morgan Hancock

RETURNING: Merrivale's Josh Brown has been named to take on East Warrnambool on Saturday. Picture: Morgan Hancock

MERRIVALE’S dwindling midfield stocks are in line to be bolstered with four strong inclusions named to tackle East Warrnambool.

Half-back Xavier Beks, swingman Claye Cassidy, midfielders Josh Brown and James Kelly have all been selected to return as Merrivale searches for its winning formula.

The injury-hit Tigers are vying to pounce back into finals contention after three losses in five games.

Gun midfielder Alister Porter remains sidelined, while Maskell Medal-winning ruckman Rhys Raymond has dropped out of the side in an effort to cure a niggling injury.

First-year Tigers coach Jason Rowan said the club was determined to carry momentum into its bye next week.

Jason Rowan

Jason Rowan

“We really want to get some momentum. It’ll help us leading into finals to have some depth in our side,” he said.

“We’re pushing everybody and people know they have to train a bit harder, and to work harder to get their spot.”

Despite ill-fortune with injuries, Rowan said players were beginning to regain fitness.

“We’ve been hit pretty hard (with injury), but that happens everywhere,” Rowan said.

“Hopefully after this weekend we’ll have another four or five changes to come back in and it’ll really help us out.

“For the last six weeks of the competition leading into finals, we should be at full strength.”

Ollie Watson (hand), James Preston (illness) and Corey Britton (back to juniors) will miss.

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