FORMER West Coast ruckman Nathan Vardy headlines a raft of forced outs for North Warrnambool Eagles but it hopes a solid week at training can help it return to winning ways.
The Eagles - who carried much of the Hampden league's flag favouritism into 2022 - have suffered two-straight defeats for the first time since 2018.
Vardy will miss Saturday's clash with Hamilton Kangaroos at Bushfield on the back of a wedding while Felix Jones (unavailable), Billy Hancocks (injured) and Bailey Jenkinson (injured) are also out. Jye O'Brien has been omitted.
The (outside) perception with us was 'Nathan Vardy is going to save the world', which no one player is going to do.- Adam Dowie
Eagles mentor Adam Dowie has drafted in small forward Jarryd Lewis, spearhead Dylan Parish, youngsters Tom Keast and Judah Greene as well as midfielder Jalen Porter.
Dowie said the changes would test the club's depth but backed the inclusions to stand up. "If it probably had been last year, they'd be hard gaps to fill but we feel like one of the things we've got this year compared to last year is more depth," he said.
"This is sort of testing it but it'll be a good opportunity for those boys."
The multiple premiership coach said his side had an encouraging week on the training track after reviewing the loss to Warrnambool. "The (outside) perception with us was 'Nathan Vardy is going to save the world', which no one player is going to do," Dowie said. "The good thing to come out of the Warrnambool game was that you start looking at everything. One of the things which came out of it was how we trained, with intensity and hunt around the contest.
"Sometimes you just take that for granted. Over the last three years the intensity which we want to bring to the contest probably hasn't quite been there. The good thing about Saturday was that got shown up. Credit to Warrnambool, because when we watched the footage, we saw what they were able to do made us go 'that's us. That's what we need to be doing' and I suppose Koroit is the same."
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