Magpies' must win match to stay in finals hunt | Mininera and District Football League

SPEED: Wickliffe-Lake Bolac's Michael Otto finds some space against Tatyoon earlier in the season. Picture: Peter Pickering

SPEED: Wickliffe-Lake Bolac's Michael Otto finds some space against Tatyoon earlier in the season. Picture: Peter Pickering

Wickliffe-Lake Bolac will be hoping its winning form continues against Great Western on Saturday.

The Magpies had an upset win against the ladder-leading Moyston-Willaura and will host the Lions in round 16 action.

Magpies coach Joe Otto said after a good performance against the Pumas, he wants to keep the winning form going into finals.

“I hope there is not a let down this week,” he said.

“There is a chance for some of the other guys to step up with changes expected to the team.”

Tristan May will be one of the key outs for the Magpies after he was concussed by a tackle in the round 15 match against Moyston-Willaura.

Otto said he hopes others can step up and fill the void he will leave.

“He is a big loss for us, he is still a bit sore and so we will rest him up,” he said.

“It will leave a hole in our midfield but I am confident others can come in and fill that spot.”

The 2016 grand finalists are wary of Great Western despite its current ladder position.

“When we played them early on, they threw everything at us,” Otto said.

“We have some really good players to come back in and it will be a good chance for them to play ahead of finals but we will not be taking them lightly.”

For Great Western, it is going to be a tough ask after coming off a loss to the Ararat Eagles.

Lions coach Will Bell said he is confident the team can finish the season well, starting with a strong performance against the Magpies.

“If we go on last year, from the halfway point of the season, they were getting smashed,” he said.

“This year, we want to be consistent with our values and finish off the season with some strong performances.

“We know the Magpies will be very good across the ground, but all I want is a real competitive effort from our guys for all four quarters.”

The Lions are expecting some changes to the team with some of the younger players rested for the match.

Bell said it will be a chance for others to get a taste of senior football.

“We will have eight out from last week, so we will have some new faces into the team but it will give others a chance to perform against a top team,” he said.

“There is no doubt we have improved, so our morale has been really good on the training track and in games.

“Your goals are always set a little bit different, we base it on our performance, rather than wins and losses and we will judge the performance on Saturday with that in mind.”

The first bounce of the match is scheduled for 2.15pm at Great Western Recreation Reserve.

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