Landmark new faces

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Amid fears the Great Southern Football League’s senior side would withdraw from the rest of the Landmark Country Football Championships, a staggering 12 fresh faces will come into the GSFL squad as they look to re-ignite their division 2 title hopes on Saturday.

After losing to the Ongerup Football Association by 40 points in their opening division 2 game last month, the GSFL must win both of their shortened games on Saturday at East Fremantle Oval and rely on other results to qualify for Sunday’s decider.

But with a raft of changes to the side that played in the regional match at Gnowangerup, caretaker coach Michael Cramer is bullish about the GSFL’s hopes of storming back into contention.

“The side is better than I’d expected,” he said. “It’s a good side on paper, very balanced and lots of big blokes for once.

“There are very significant players coming in, Ryan Gaerth, Matt Dickie who we jumped at having, and Luke Cameron.

“The side has improved from Gnowangerup and we are going to win both games and by as much as we can.”

Kleemann medallist Cameron headlines the inclusions along with gun ex-WAFL midfielder Gaerth and prolific goal kicker and State Country representative Dickie, who has been given permission to play for the GSFL.

Dickie played for WA in their State country clash against South Australia last year and because the Newman National Football League, where he plays for Tigers, does not participate in the championships, he has the WA Country Football League’s permission to join the GSFL.

He has booted 26 goals in six games for Tigers this season and bagged six goals in four matches for Kingsley in the WAAFL C1 competition.

Brendan and Russell Wynne, Brock Ramsay, Paris Ropiha, Dylan Schorer, Kadan King- Davies, Ethan Burton, Jak Phillips and recently transferred Peter Mark are the other inclusions.

Of the 10 omissions from last month’s team, Zane Marwick, Ben Gray and Rory Callaghan are the most notable, while big man Hendrix Ropiha was drafted into the squad before withdrawing along with Marwick this week.

Cramer said the work of captain Matt Orzel and a few senior teammates was instrumental in ensuring the GSFL continued at the championships. “Matty is a great footballer, very experienced and passionate,” he said.

“Him and Ryan Kinnear have almost been the catalysts in this, they want to go up and succeed.”

The GSFL face Eastern Districts at 12.15pm on Saturday before facing Goldfields at 3.15pm.

The winner of the south and north sides of the draw will play off in Sunday’s grand final at Leederville Oval.

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