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Hotton’s banking on home comforts

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August 11, 2017

Euroa coach JD Hayes will be firing up his players for a tough contest against Mansfield tomorrow.

Mansfield coach Cam Hotton is hoping his side can use history to its advantage tomorrow when it hosts Euroa.

The Magpies last won at Mansfield Recreation Reserve in 2013, but have improved on the road this year under JD Hayes.

‘‘It will take our best to notch up a win, but obviously with the home ground and the home crowd advantage we hope that can help,’’ Hotton said.

‘‘It’s going to be quite a tough game, they’re travelling better than in previous years and got a touch up from Rochester last game, so they’ll be fired up.’’

The Eagles are likely to be without Collingwood VFL-listed Nick Gray for the rest of the year, while young James Chiller looks to have broken his ankle and will also not return to the field, along with Brant Anselmi (elbow).

‘‘I wouldn’t have thought we would get Nick back,’’ Hotton said.

‘‘With Collingwood having plenty of injuries, I’d say he’ll spend the rest of the season with the VFL.

‘‘He (James) thinks it’s a bit of a break, so he’ll be out for the rest of the year.’’

Allister Bennett will return to the under-18 squad to play out the season with his age group, an offer Hotton made to his younger charges and one that Will Foster will also take up at some point.

‘‘I’ve given the boys the opportunity to play back down there with their mates seeing as it is their last year under age,’’ he said.

Ari Croxford-Demasi and Mitch Wareham will return to the senior side, but Lachie Christopher remains under a cloud after a bye-week initiative gone wrong.

‘‘Lachie has played the last three games in the reserves (after missing a large chunk of the season with a serious hamstring injury),’’ Hotton said.

‘‘Unfortunately we were playing some five-on-five basketball and soccer in the gym and he’s hurt his medial (ligament), so we’re not sure how it will come up.’’

Meanwhile, Euroa will receive a massive boost tomorrow with the return of former AFL player Rohan Bail and playing coach Hayes from injury, as well as rising star Jett Trotter (Murray Bushrangers).

‘‘We were screaming for the bye,’’ Hayes said.

‘‘They’ve got a bit of a fortress, but we’ve got a few big ins, so we’ll still be confident this week.’’

Although Footscray has a VFL bye this weekend, Lauchlan Dalgleish (ankle) and Will Hayes (15 matches in a row) are on orders to rest and will not make an appearance against the Eagles.

Trent Storer has had surgery on his hand and will miss five weeks, with Ben Harrison (sore knee) also in doubt for this clash, but Hayes stressed his side’s destiny was firmly in its own hands despite its injury toll.

‘‘We want to finish as high as we can this year, we’d love that double chance,’’ he said.

‘‘But it is up to us, with a few hard games left against Tatura and Seymour after this one.’’

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