This year’s Goulburn Valley League season is only in its infancy, but the blockbuster of the year so far will take place under lights at Kyabram Recreation Reserve tomorrow.
Kyabram and Euroa was a sensational match-up last year in round nine, with it considered one of the best GVL games in recent times.
The Bombers narrowly managed to keep its unbeaten run alive, despite trailing at all changes before pushing ahead in the final term.
The duo will renew acquaintances in prime time and Kyabram coach Paul Newman said his counterpart JD Hayes had the Magpies catching sides off guard.
‘‘We only played them the once (last year) and they gave us a good old fright over there (at Memorial Oval), they play a different brand of footy and have some really strong players,’’ he said.
‘‘So as long as we’re on our game and hopefully stick to structures if we’re somewhere near our best, we can win.’’
If last week’s performance was any indication, Kyabram has not lost any potency from last season.
Departures in the off-season did not seem to cause a glimmer of concern for the Bombers against Mooroopna in the opening round.
With six changes from last year’s premiership side, Mick Mattingly was the only player that was not at the club in the previous season, spending two years in the VFL with Coburg.
But he received his club’s best-on-ground award for his work along the wing and his silky disposals.
‘‘He was fantastic, he played good football and he knows what’s going on in the football field and fitted in with the club really well,’’ Newman said.
Another premiership player is a near certainty to return with elite talent Lachie Smith close to full fitness after a knee injury.
Luke Morris hyperextended his elbow and had to leave the field against the Cats, but Newman said he had recovered and would play.
Needing to perform for a full game against the best is an understatement for Hayes’ troops.
After a stirling opening to its match against Shepparton United, the Magpies dropped their intensity, but can not afford to make the same mistake tomorrow.
‘‘A lot of that came down to concentration more than fitness the more I thought about it, but at each stoppage we will just have to go back to our starting structures,’’ Hayes said.
‘‘We’re happy to come up against the benchmark of the competition (so early in the season), we’ll just make sure we focus on us and playing the best footy we can.
‘‘If we focused on their best players, we’d be tagging 21 players.’’
Adam Tarrant and Brendan Allen are in line to return, causing selection headaches for Hayes.