NORTH Warrnambool Eagles are hoping to start building momentum with their full contingent of open grade players back on the court – but their first task is no easy feat.
The Eagles, who have been hit by illness and injury over the past four rounds, are preparing to once again lock horns with Camperdown, the team which defeated them in a one-goal thriller back in round three.
Eagles co-coach Jody Roth said while the club’s juniors had done a commendable job stepping up to fill the void, it was handy to have a full list available for the clash at Bushfield Oval.
“We’ve had players crook, we’ve had injuries – I haven’t had my seven consistent open girls for about the last four weeks,” she said.
“It has had an impact on us, on our team dynamics.
“It’ll be good to have our seven main girls back on court.
“But credit to our junior girls – Molly McKinnon, Maggie Kellert, Zoe Bussell – they’ve stood onto the court (and played well).”
The Eagles welcome back Jordyn Billings, who missed the team’s surprise loss to Cobden heading into the Hampden league bye.
The Bushfield-based team has had a fortnight to stew on the nine-goal loss, but Roth said the full-strength line-up was eager to launch into Saturday’s home game against Camperdown.
Last time the teams met, the Magpies snuck across the for a one-goal win after the Eagles made a fourth-quarter charge to take the game down to the wire.
“It could go either way,” Roth said of Saturday’ clash.
“Even with Tracey Baker out, (Camperdown coach) Peter (Finch) has obviously got the right girls there to fill the void.
“To have that big, shock loss against Cobden – they played better on the day – but I think it might’ve been a wake-up call for us.”
The second-placed Eagles are holding off the third-placed Magpies by one win and about 16 percentage points.