Cobden coach Dan Casey is hopeful his team assembled for round one will take it right up to reigning Hampden league premier Koroit on Saturday.
The Bombers, who are expected to be big improvers in 2023 off the back of a strong pre-season, have named several of their recruits for round one. Experienced mid Brody Mahoney, ruck Mark Marriott, along with Patrick Smith, who returns from an ACL injury, bolster the Bombers' on-ball brigade, while Jack Hammond, Jesse Williamson, Noah Mounsey and Jordan Fowler all come in. Daniel Watson won't play as he deals with a hamstring injury.
Casey said though competition for spots was fierce, he was pleased to be able to still give opportunity to some of the Bombers' under 18s, with Henry Robertson and Luke Smith named in the seniors.
The coach isn't expecting an easy game against the Saints, despite some changes to their rivals' line-up.
"They've won seven flags in a row for a reason," Casey said. "They've always got talent rolling through and they've got some keen players coming back to the side. We'll see if we can catch that margin that we were away from them last year."
Meanwhile, Camperdown will unveil one of its three newest recruits against Terang Mortlake.
Jason Baird will suit up for the Magpies, with fellow recruits Aiden Dann to play reserves and Desmond James named in the under 18.5s.
"I spoke to (Jason) and just said to go out and play his role and enjoy it," Camperdown coach Neville Swayn said. "He'll play in our forward half. He's excited. Aiden, he's had a bit of a knee so he'll just play in the reserves with limited minutes and (we'll) build him up."
Returning Magpies Will Rowbottom, Sidney Bradshaw, Brendan Richardson and Riley Arnold bolster the team's on-ground experience. Hamish Sinnott, a Carlton VFL-listed player, will also feature.
Swayn expects a strong contest against the Bloods.
"Terang's recruited really well," he said. "But what I said to the guys is it's a great challenge for us, to see where we're at."
A teenage debutante will play his first senior game for Hamilton on Saturday, while another recruit makes their first appearance in the blue and white.
Charlie Alexander will play his first senior game for the Kangaroos, after featuring in the club's 2022 under 18.5 flag. Oscar Linke, who crossed from Penshurt, also comes into the Kangaroos' backline.
Senior coach Hamish Waldron said Alexander, who is still eligible for under 18.5s, is ready for the senior level.
"He's going to play on the wing for us," Waldron said. "He's played a good finals series in the under 18s last year... He played a good practice match on the weekend so hopefully he's ready and raring.
"He said to me, he was really excited to get out there and into it."
Waldron said he had selected his strongest side possible for round one, with opportunity up for grabs through the unavailability of Rory Gill (suspension), Zach Burgess (unavailable), and Bailey Mason (injured).
The playing coach said the Eagles would be hard to beat on their home ground.
"They play their home ground really well," Waldron said of the Eagles. "(Coach Adam) Dowie will have them well structured up. He's lost a lot of players but I would say the one there he would have been educating pretty hard."
Hampden league round one teams as supplied
Port Fairy v South Warrnambool
B: G. Swarbrick, I. Martin, S. Lucardie
HB: C. Harwood, S. Lee, T. Adamson
C: O. Myers, T. Opperman, O. Pollock
HF: M. Staude, A. McMeel, M. Sully
F: Z. McKenna, J. Bartlett, J. Rowan
R: K. Mercovich, T. Macilwain, J. Hopper
Int: R. Mohan, J. Forrest, J. Duncan, L. Gunning
Emg: M. Ryan, R. Riordan
B: S. Thompson, R. Henderson, I. Thomas
HB: J. Saunders, O. Bridgewater
C: M. Irving, J. Maher, M. McCluggage
HF: S. Beks, X. Farley, N.Thompson
F: B.Rantall, J.Mugavin
R: S. Kelly, J. Henderson, P. Anderson
Int: F. Wilkinson, D. Nicholson, S. Lenehan, X. Mitchem, T. Williamson
Terang Mortlake v Camperdown
B: H. Roberts, G. Bourke, A. Moloney
HB: D. Kenna, D. Jones, J. Arundell
C: K. Johnstone, I. Kenna, J. Hay
HF: B. Reid, M. Arundell, L. McConnell
F: L. Wareham, H. Porter, R. Buck
R: R. Hutchins, D. Hobbs, X. Vickers
Int: S. Crawley, T. Harris, S. Mclean, N. Roberts
B: L. O'Neil, S. Bradshaw, B. Richardson
HB: R. Arnold, A. McBean, B. Draffin
C: C. Lucas, J. Dundon, H. Sumner
HF: D. Absalom, D. Coates, H. Gordon
F: J. Place, C. Spence, S. Gordon
R: W. Rowbottom, T. Kent, Z. Sinnott
Int: M. Sinnott, J. Baird, N. Jones
Portland Tigers v Warrnambool
B: K. Edwards, H. Kerr, J. Wilson
HB: C. Piergrosse, J. Edwards, P. Procter
C: T. Jennings, T. Murrell, K. Richardson
HF: S. Hampshire, D. Falcone
F: M. Curtis, W. Hunter
R: D. Denboer, S. Peck, C. Peters
Int: B. Schwarz, D. Bell, L. Leonard
B: N. Hooker, E. Boyd, J. Chittick
HB: R. Warfe, S. Cowling, L. Bidmade
C: D. Graham, W. Lord, L. Worden
HF: J. Turland, R. Mast, H. Morgan-Morris
F: L. Cody, C. Hoffmann, H. Ryan
R: J. Bell, D. Weymouth, M. Bidmade
Int: A. Radley, J. Foott, T. Ludeman, S. Lampton
Cobden v Koroit
B: L. Cahill, N. Mounsey, Z. Green
HB: C. Koroneos, S. Thow, J. Fowler
C: P. Pekin, L. Loubey, J. Williamson
HF: J. Hammond, L. Smith, T. Spokes
F: G. Rooke, H. Robertson, J. Hutt
R: P. Smith, M. Marriott, B. Mahoney
Int: C. Darcy, T. Anderson, O. Darcy, J. Hickey
B: J. Block, T. Baulch, J. Lloyd
HB: T. Martin, D. Mooney
C: T. Mckenry, K. Moloney, L. Hoy
HF: W. Couch, W. Petersen, P. O'Sullivan
F: C. Nagorcka, A. Pulling, T. Hines
R: N. Rentsch, J. Mcinerney, M. Petersen
Int: T. Waterson, C. O'Donnell, F. Robb, J. Whitehead
North Warrnambool Eagles v Hamilton Kangaroos
North Warrnambool Eagles
B: B. Keast, L. Wines, J. Johnstone
HB: B. Jenkinson, T. Batten, S. McKinnon
C: F. Jones, D. Bermingham, A. Wines
HF: J. Greene, A. Noske
F: Z. Timms, J. Lewis, N. Rodda
R: J. Bermingham, N. Vardy
Int: C. Grundy, J. O'Brien
B: N. Herrmann, J. Hickey, C. Pither
HB: L. Barnes, T. Morris, D. White
C: C. Alexander, R. Sigley, B. Hicks
HF: H. Waldron, D. Russell, L. Uebergang
F: J. Jennings, H. Cook, B. Starkie
R: M. McMeel, E. Knight, C. Whyte
Int: J. Whyte, L. Urquhart, W. Povey, O. Linke
Emg: H. McGinley
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