GREATER Western Victoria Rebels are throwing their support behind two bottom-age prospects, picking Hampden league duo Ethan ‘EJ’ Harvey and Mitch Burgress for their TAC Cup debuts.
South Warrnambool-aligned Harvey will play as an inside midfielder and Warrnambool-linked Burgess, who received a late call up after an injury at training on Thursday night, across half-back.
Rebels head coach Marc Greig said the pair would be tested against ladder leader Oakleigh Chargers on Sunday.
Greig said he was impressed with Harvey’s attack on the contest.
“EJ will get midfield time and some minutes elsewhere, most likely forward,” he said.
“Tom Berry, one of our leaders is out, and (Camperdown’s) Toby Mahony too, so it was a good opportunity to get EJ in.
“I thought he did good work in the pre-season trial games and talking to the coaches down there, he puts his head over the ball and is a brave little fella.”
Greig said Burgess, who has settled into senior football at the Blues, was an exciting prospect.
“Burgo has been emergency for a couple of weeks,” he said.
“I like his speed. He tackles well and applies good pressure.”
Harvey and Burgess will join fellow debutant Cooper Craig-Peters, a Redan teenager who has designed Western Bulldogs’ 2018 indigenous guernsey.
The Rebels want their players to “do what they do naturally” and play on instinct.
“If you’re fast, use your speed and if you’re a good kick, use the ball as much as you can,” Greig said.
Greater Western Victoria Rebels have a 1-4 win-loss record but Greig is bullish about their abilities.
“We’ve played OK games and we’ve been in front twice and been pipped in the last quarter,” he said.