Box Hill Hawks have named 18 senior AFL-listed Hawks in the extended 27-man squad for Sunday’s VFL Semi-Final against Geelong.
The two sides met just two weeks ago in the final round of the home and away season, with the Hawks taking the points on the back of a strong second half.
Chris Newman is yet to omit anyone from the twenty-three which secured an extra-time victory over Port Melbourne in last Saturday’s pulsating Elimination Final, but has added pace and experience to a squad which will be finalised in the coming days.
Vice-Captain Mitch O’Donnell has won his place in the squad back, having missed the wins against Geelong and Port Melbourne with a fractured jaw.
Remarkably, ‘Bull’ sustained the injury prior to half-time in the Casey contest but still went on to record a game-high 17 tackles. O’Donnell has enjoyed a standout season deployed in an unfamiliar half-back role, his attack on the contest a highlight.
His inclusion allows coach Chris Newman the flexibility to move his magnets back and around the ball.
The Hawks’ on-ball brigade again looks strong on paper, with Messrs. Lovell, O’Rourke, Cousins and the Captain, Andrew Moore, combining for close to 100 touches between in the win against the Borough. With them feeding on the tap work of Marc Pittonet the midfield group’s influence will be pivotal to the outcome.
Another named in the squad is former Box Hill skipper David Mirra, who could figure after a stint in the senior side. Should he turn out for Chris Newman he’ll be a powerful force across half-back or half-forward, with his experience and mentality built for finals football.
Last week’s match-winner, Olly Hanrahan, will look to build on arguably his best performance of the 2018 season, in which his pressure and work rate was rewarded with two vital last term goals.
In tandem with Tom Maloney and, potentially, Billy Murphy, Box Hill have the makings of small forward brigade to cause headaches for the Cats’ backs.
Those planning to attend are encouraged to skip the queues and pre-book their tickets online. Tickets are available via vfl.com.au/presale.
Ins: D. Mirra, L. Walker, B. Murphy, M. O’Donnell
Box Hill Hawks vs. Geelong Cats
Sunday, 2:10pm, North Port Oval
Please note: team to be finalised prior to bounce.
|B||32. D Mirra||59. K Brand||64. T Duryea|
|HB||42. T Miles||61. T O’Brien||43. C Jiath|
|C||44. C Glass||46. J Cousins||52. J O’Rourke|
|HF||36. D Moore||37. J Ross||41. O Hanrahan|
|F||50. D Willsmore||39. M Lewis||51. B Whitecross|
|R||56. M Pittonet||60. K Lovell||63. D Howe|
|Int||4. M O’Donnell||7. A Brolic||3. B Murphy|
|21. L Walker||11. B Kilpatrick||12. C Jones|
|10. W Hams||2. A Moore|
|23rd||17. T Maloney|