Sport

Magpies ready to fire first-up

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April 06, 2018

Emerging Euroa ruckman Will McFarlane (pictured) will benefit from the return of cult hero John Ikupu.

After a long pre-season on the track, Euroa is ready to explode into another promising campaign.

Playing coach JD Hayes is keen for his new-look line-up to showcase their talents in front of what should be a huge Memorial Oval crowd for tomorrow’s clash against Shepparton United.

The return of John Ikupu will have a two-fold effect for the Magpies, giving them a big body in the middle of the ground and helping the development of young ruckman Will McFarlane, 22.

VFL talents Jamison Shea and Lauchlan Dalgleish are also available for Hayes tomorrow, meaning the Magpies will be close to full-strength.

It has not changed Hayes’ approach to tackling the Demons though.

‘‘You never underestimate your opposition and they’ll come out all guns blazing,’’ he said.

‘‘In racing terms, they’ve had a run and will benefit from it and we’ll be first-up, so I’m expecting a good contest.’’

Meanwhile, Demons playing coach Stephen Scott has worked on specific aspects at training this week to help his charges improve enough to challenge the Magpies.

‘‘I was definitely happy with our effort last week,’’ Scott said.

‘‘We’ve just got to work on things like executing our skills under pressure and cutting off the opposition across half-back — we turned it over too much last week against Shepparton and we need to be more accountable.’’

The Demons will lose Joel Serra for three weeks due to a hip injury, while Scott will look to his big men to stamp their authority on tomorrow’s clash.

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