K rock Football

Carson “excited” by Colac test

St Joseph’s coach Paul Carson. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

IT’S the match-up keen GFL followers have been waiting for – St Joseph’s and Colac in a Round 17 battle at Drew Oval on Saturday that will double as a minor premiership decider.

Joeys coach Paul Carson knows what’s on the line but is looking at the clash with the Tigers as a chance to test itself against a team riding an 11-game winning streak.

“We think it’s a really good opportunity, two weeks out from playing finals, to test ourselves against arguably the best team,” he said.

“We’re excited by that.”

Colac outclassed the two-time reigning premier to the tune of 42 points in the previous meeting in Round 9.

Carson says he will take a little bit out of that result.

“Probably more about how they play and their personnel because I was a little bit raw at that point,” he said. “I hadn’t seen a lot of them and was flying blind a little bit.

“We’ll look a bit different this time around as far as personnel; we’ve probably got four or five different players who didn’t play that day.

“Structurally, we look different … we’re going to look a whole lot different.

“And I think that’s for the better for us, so that’s exciting.”

St Joseph’s is yet to decide on what ruck structure it will take into the clash to battle Lochie Veale, who is coming off 56 hitouts in last week’s win over North Shore.

Tom Denning played his first game at senior level in more than 12 months in the victory over Lara, sharing the ruck duties with Lech Featherstone.

With Cam Tudor set to return after missing last week due to illness, Carson says it is one they are “still tossing up”.

“I’d be really keen to see how he (Denning) goes, which is why we got him back in on the weekend just gone,” Carson said.

“It’ll be interesting to see what happens there.”

As well as Tudor, former captain Kieren Paliouras, midfielder Riley Ferguson and forward Jackson Davis are also in the mix to play.

Paliouras returned from overseas last week and played in the reserves, while Ferguson (knee) and Davis (groin) haven’t played since rounds 13 and 12 respectively due to injury.

Carson is keen to get Davis back before finals.

“He’s had some treatment and we’re hoping that it’s worked,” Carson said. “Whether he plays this week, maybe it’s not the be-all and end-all.

“But, if it’s not this week, it will probably have to be next week.

“I don’t think we could not play him for five or six weeks and go into final; that’s a pretty big ask.

“We’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

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