Rival clubs honour Anzac legacy

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

North Albany coach Craig Dew is wary of a stronger Railways midfield as the reigning premiers begin their title defence at Tigerland in the special Anzac Day clash this afternoon.

The Kangas and Tigers will meet as part of the Anzac round for the third time since the inaugural clash in 2015, but both sides will field a raft of new faces in the round 1 fixture. Dew confirmed eight changes from the premiership side that defeated Mt Barker in an epic grand final, with new recruits Jesse Wynne, Michael Wright and Beau Rogers all set to run out today.

Returning defender Brent Clarke, along with Brodie Sumich, Jyrin Woods, Corey Hitchcock and Mitch Woods, will also come into the Kangas line-up as Dew said his side prepared to fill the void left by star duo Daniel Parker and Matt Smith.

“It will be a bit of a different look for us,” Dew said. “We have a brand new forward line, which is exciting, with Wynne, Wright at centre-half forward and Rogers at full forward.”

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Kris Ericson is unavailable for the first couple of rounds, while brother and key defender Stef Ericson will miss at least a month with a medial ligament strain in his knee.

Dew said he expected a stronger Tigers line-up to test his midfield group in the season-opener.

“It will be really interesting — we don’t play external scratch matches,” Dew said. “We may be a bit behind other clubs. Railways have recruited really well but their big in is Jarrod Whittle, so I expect their midfield to be significantly stronger and ours is a bit weaker.”

Tigers coach Craig Frost confirmed new recruits Joel Want and Ryan Hudson-Lovegrove would play, along with returning duo Whittle and Kris Cramer, while Daniel Rajecki will make his debut.

Tigers vice-captain Zane Marwick said it was a massive occasion for both clubs to play on Anzac Day.

“It’s a huge honour for both clubs,” he said.

“To show what it means to us and really fight for your team.”

Kangas skipper Graham Ross expected a great atmosphere at the special one-off fixture.

“It is one of the biggest fixtures of the year and we are very lucky as a club to play on Anzac Day,” Ross said. “Hopefully there will be a big crowd at the game.

The match starts at 2.30pm.

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