K rock Football

Joeys keen for Lions test

Riley Ferguson returns to the St Joseph’s line-up for the clash with Leopold. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

FIRST-year coach Paul Carson has revealed St Joseph’s has had an eye on this week’s meeting with Leopold at Memorial Park for the best part of a month.

The reigning premier has barely been troubled on its way to posting a 6-0 win-loss record to start their flag defence, with an average winning margin of 79 points.

The Lions are also in solid form, with four straight wins before last week’s Pride Cup draw against Newtown & Chilwell.

“I think it’s going to prove to be a pretty big hitout, too. Both teams appear to be tracking pretty well,” Carson said.

“I went and watched the Leopold-Newtown game last week, and I say Leopold should have won that.

“It should be a game good game of footy.”

St Joseph’s had had some mixed news at selection, with GFL interleague forward Lucas Anderson to miss up to a fortnight with knee soreness associated with his knee reconstruction before he arrived at the club last year, while Jack Buckley was ruled out earlier this week after landing awkwardly on his wrist in the win over Grovedale.

However, both Riley Ferguson (work) and James Hickey (hamstring) return, while Reid Adams will make his first senior appearance since July last year after negotiating a match in the reserves last week.

“His training’s been really solid; we feel like he’s done the work and he’s rehabbed as well as he can,” Carson said.

“He played a really good game at 12 o’clock last week, and I think he’s chomping at the bit, Reid.”

Harry Smith has been omitted.

Meanwhile, the Lions will be without former skipper Jai Thompson (finger) and Mitch Patten (hamstring), while Matt Gunn has been dropped.

Sam Scott returns from a one-week suspension, while Max Ruiter has been recalled for his first game since Round 1 and former Ocean Grove player Dylan Moroney will make his GFL senior debut.

Coach Guy Morphet says despite also missing the likes of captain Sam Hughes, Tom Gordon and Kevin Bourke, Leopold is giving itself every a chance of causing an upset.

“If people bring the right mindset and bring the pressure, I’m a big believer that anything could happen,” he said.

“It’s going to be another big test for us this week.”

Twitter: @tom_king79