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We’re not going to sit by and complain

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July 10, 2017

Rochester's Steven Stroobants laments the Goulburn Valley League not having a bye at the weekend to compensate for player shortages due to Vic Country commitments..

Two of the Goulburn Valley League’s Victoria Country representatives have also weighed in on whether a bye was necessary for the competition this weekend.

With some sides in the middle of a 12-match stretch of football, the representative game loomed as the perfect opportunity to rest and recuperate.

Players also had to make the tough decision on whether to accept selection for higher honours, thus leaving their home club in the lurch, or decline what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pull on the Big V jumper.

The vast majority of coaches in the league were in favour of a bye when surveyed in the lead-up to round 12 action.

Rochester was most affected on Saturday, with Steven Stroobants and Nathan Marrone playing at Frankston Oval.

The Tigers certainly missed the duo, losing to Seymour at Kings Park by 39 points.

Stroobants, while unhappy with the situation, understood there was not much to be done about the issue.

‘‘It’s a pity that the GV League didn’t have a bye,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a bit disappointing, but what can you do? You just have to move on.’’

Tigers and Country teammate Marrone was of a similar opinion.

‘‘For our side to not have two players definitely made Flazza’s (Rochester coach James Flaherty) role at selection on Thursday harder than it needed to be,’’ he said.

‘‘Probably for a big game it did disadvantage us, but that’s how it was and we move on.’’

Chris Ryan’s Tatura side also lost on the weekend, going down to Mansfield by 16 points.

Shepparton’s Luke Smith and Kyabram’s Zac Norris represented Country in the under-19 Challenge Cup, but the Bears and Bombers recorded comfortable wins.

Meanwhile, with the Murray league having a competition-wide bye this weekend, Nathalia’s Ned Nihill was able to represent Country with no repercussions to his Purples.

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