Kangas and Tigers ready for tight tribute match
North Albany coach Craig Dew has urged his side to come prepared for a fiercely contested Warrick Proudlove Tribute Match on Saturday at Tigerland against Railways, who have toppled the reigning premiers twice already this season.
The two sides will meet in the sixth edition of the special fixture that pays tribute to Proudlove, a former Kangas and Claremont footballer who was involved in a horrific car accident on Albany Highway in July, 2011.
Both clubs will come together this weekend to raise funds during the match, assisting Proudlove and his family with their significant ongoing medical and care costs.
The Tigers, who are ahead in the tribute match ledger with three victories, have beaten the Kangas twice already this season and Dew said the Kangas must respond in the round 11 clash as they eye a top-two finish and look to retain the Warrick Proudlove Tribute Match Perpetual Shield. “In both games this season Railways have whacked us pretty easily, really,” Dew said.
“Railways are a solid, contested footy side and to me it has nothing to do with our injuries than we just haven’t handled the pressure Railways applied.
“The last two weeks we’ve had great effort and intensity and we need to bring that again so I’m sure the boys will come with a bit of fire in the belly.
“It’s a significant day for us.
“Wazza played for us and everyone lifts for this.”
The Kangas sit in second place by only a percentage but a loss would again see the Tigers draw level with them on points head-ing into the final four regular rounds.
Dew confirmed that Kris Ericson, Adam Ditchburn, Regan Lloyd and Jack Steel will all be available to return to the league side but chief ball winner Matt Orzel won’t play because of State Country commitments.
Kangas youngster Jake Becroft’s season is over after scans revealed he has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee sustained at the Landmark Country Football Championships and he requires surgery while forward Taj Williams is looking at six weeks on the sidelines with a broken collarbone.
The Tigers will have extra significance in the match, with veteran midfielder Nic Cramer set to play his 150th league game.
Player-coach Craig Frost confirmed Cramer brothers Nic and Kris would return along with Dylan Schorer, but said gun midfielder Logan Stubber was overseas.
“We are looking to bounce back against a good quality side,” Frost said.
“North are getting their players back and are a lot stronger so we need to be on our game and play a more consistent brand of footy.
“The Proudies game really goes up that next level and both clubs are proud to play it in.”
Cramer, who has played league for Kojonup and North Albany, will reach the major milestone after being part of an instrumental period in the Tigers’ history in which they won two premierships.
“For me playing 150 at Railways after playing for Koji and North Albany and playing so many games in this league, is one of my biggest achievements in footy,” the 32-year-old said.
“To reach it at one club, have an influence at one club and help it get some success and be part of that building process is my highlight.
“I was part of North Albany when they were struggling and Koji when they were struggling so I’m pretty stoked to final get there, it was the last little goal in my footy.”
In the other fixtures, all on Saturday, Albany and Royals clash in the Centennial Stadium derby and Denmark-Walpole host Mt Barker at McLean Park.
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