K rock Football

Hawks ready for East challenge

Inverleigh coach Adam Donohue. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

INVERLEIGH will face arguably the biggest threat to its 17-match winning streak when it hosts East Geelong in a mouth-watering GDFL match-up at Morton Power Oval on Saturday.

The Hawks sit less than three per cent behind ladder leader Geelong West, with the Eagles third with four wins and a loss from the opening five rounds.

Coach Adam Donohue says Inverleigh quickly turned its attention to East following last week’s win over Bell Post Hill.

“When we looked at the results and saw that they’d beaten Thomson, who I rate really highly, by seven goals, I knew it was going to be a huge challenge for us,” he said.

“They’re flying under the radar, East, and I think the whole competition does rate them.

“They’ll certainly be thereabout when the whips are cracking,”

The Eagles look set to be boosted by the inclusion of quality midfielder Tom Maas and the return from concussions of reigning Team of the Year ruck Tim McLennan.

“Unless they’ve had an injury on the weekend, they’re going to be pretty close to full strength,” he said.

“McLennan’s one of the premier ruckmen in the comp. We think Poodle (Wilson) is flying at the moment, so that will be a huge battle.

“Then you look at their midfield with Maasy coming in. (John) McIntyre, (Billy) Andrew, (Mark) Hoare, (Ryan) Lempa; they’re all good players.

“They’ve got a really solid centre square mob and some really dangerous targets down forward and a couple of handy defenders.

“We’re going to have to be at our best, for sure.”

After sneaking past Bannockburn by four points on Anzac Day, Inverleigh has beaten Belmont Lions and Bell Post Hill by a combined margin of 110 points.

“Bannockburn certainly gave us an idea of what we needed to work on,” Donohue said.

“We’ve done that over the last couple of weeks and had a pretty good four-quarter performance on the weekend.”

Inverleigh expects to welcome Mick Grozdanvoski for Saturday’s clash, with Lachie Buyel also in the mix.

However, Scott Condy, Bill Cations, Casey Meehan and Blake Hutchinson remain sidelined.

Off-season acquisition Brad Surkitt is battling a groin and hip issue, with a scan to determine his short-term playing future.

“He is a chance (to play against East Geelong), but there’s also the chance he could miss a little stint as well,” Donohue said

“I suggest there’s something minor going on there that doesn’t allow him to be himself.”

Twitter: @tom_king79