Pies set to pile on pressure as they chase finals berth

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Denmark-Walpole’s Ryan Gaerth breaks clear.
Camera IconDenmark-Walpole’s Ryan Gaerth breaks clear. Credit: Laurie Benson

Denmark-Walpole will go into their vital Great Southern Football League clash with Royals on Saturday with a point to prove according to coach Matt Candy, after going down by two points in their previous encounter this season.

The Magpies and Lions appear set to fight out fourth place on the ladder, but Candy is confident his side can keep their season alive at McLean Park and make amends for their narrow loss back in round 5 to the same opponent.

Brody Hickey, Codey Baxter, Liam Park, Luke Cameron and Luke Galantino are all set to return to the Magpies side, while Luke Marley is also a strong chance to join them following a hamstring injury.

The addition of big man Shayne Zanetti, along with the form of star trio Ryan Gaerth, Jaden Guidi and Tyler Stone, has the Magpies shaping as a dangerous team in the run home.

However, they sit a game outside the top four with only six games remaining, meaning a win over the Lions is a must to remain in finals contention. “We are looking pretty good this week,” Candy said.

“Most of those guys we get back.

“Jack Hickey will have another week off and Hayden Parker is playing colts for Claremont are the only two missing.

“We have to win this week pretty much and then win a few more in the last six, but the attitude around the boys is good.

“They are up and about, well rested and we just want to put some pressure on Royals.”

The Lions are counting the costs of the Landmark Country Football Championships, with Cameron Allison (hamstring) and Andrew Ruck (sternoclavicular joint) both casualties.

That pair, along with Rory Callaghan, will miss this week while Cameron Smith is still away on holiday.

Lions coach James McRae was very confident key pair Dave Park and Taylor Powell had trained in the past two weeks and were firmly in the mix to play.

In what is Volunteer Round in the GSFL, Mt Barker and North Albany will meet in a crucial clash to both sides’ top-two hopes at Collingwood Park on Sunday.

However, the Bulls will be missing important trio Peter Taylor, Nic Chidgzey and Sam Lehmann who are all unavailable, while Kallan Bond’s work commitments mean he won’t be seen again this season.

The Kangas will be boosted by the inclusion of rebound defender Alec Haskins, who will play his first game of the season after overcoming a groin injury.

In the other fixture, Albany host Railways on Saturday afternoon.

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