A key Camperdown defender faces a late start to the season with injury, as the Magpies prepare to test several changes to their game plan in a practice match on Friday.
The Magpies are expected to miss Gus Gordon for their April 1 Hampden league season-opener against Terang Mortlake. The centre-half back is dealing with back trouble, with senior coach Neville Swayn hopeful Gordon will only miss a few games.
"He's still been able to run but hasn't been able to do a lot of contact with it," Swayn said. Camperdown, which finished ninth in 2022, starts its build up to round one with a scratch match against Simpson at Leura Oval on Friday night.
"We don't really want to worry about the opposition in terms of what they are doing," Swayn said. "We just want to worry about our structures and what we've changed over the summer."
Practice games against Cobden and Colac - in which each team plays each other for a half - on Friday, March 10 and Modewarre Warriors on Saturday, March 18 will follow at Leura Oval.
"We've trained for long enough now... it will be good to get into a game and get to have a look at how we're tracking," Swayn said. The fifth-year mentor said he was happy with the team's progression over pre-season and praised the form of full-back Brendan Richardson, who returns after a year off dealing with a heart complaint.
"He's really impressed over the summer and looks ready to go," the coach said.
Meanwhile key forward Sam Gordon is ramping up his own preparation.
"He's probably built up a little differently with a bit more of a break," Swayn said. "He's just starting to build up really nicely now."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.