INJURIES might've hampered Grady Rooke's recent impact but Cobden coach Dan Casey says Bombers fans are finally "seeing the best" of the talented midfielder.
Rooke and his midfield mates - including co-captain Paul Pekin and youngsters Henry Robertson and first-gamer Luke Smith - were strong as the Bombers romped to a 104-point victory over Port Fairy on Saturday.
Casey's side trailed at quarter-time but booted seven unanswered majors in the second term to carry a 42-point lead into the main break against a fierce breeze. They posted a 22.17 (149) to 6.9 (45) win.
Casey said young players were entrusted with key roles.
I reckon Tom Sullivan, he's a fantastic player. He was Port Fairy's best by a mile. We wanted our younger guys to get a go on him- Dan Casey
"I reckon Tom Sullivan, he's a fantastic player. He was Port Fairy's best by a mile. We wanted our younger guys to get a go on him," he said.
"Luke Smith made his debut because we had Liam Loubey pull out late with a hamstring injury and he's only bottom-age under 18s. We said to him and Henry, we put them on him.
"We said 'this guy is one of the best at the moment'. They were really pleased they got an opportunity to have a crack at him. We put our young leaders on Kaine Mercovich too and while he got on top early, the boys were able to wear him down a bit."
The first-year coach, who coached Camperdown as late as 2015, said Rooke was underrated.
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"He's a fantastic player. He's just had a few injury issues the last couple of years but we're seeing the best of him now," Casey said.
"He's fit. He's enjoying his footy and has that full pre-season under his belt. That's all we want from our guys - to enjoy it. They seem to play better like that and there's no expectation on them. They just play and see what happens.
"We just stick to what we do best and go from there."
Casey said the Bombers were ruthless and able to put the foot down to crush the Seagulls. He said that was an improvement on this past week where they struggled to put Camperdown to bed.
The Bombers will play Koroit after the Hampden league's May bye.
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