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Another Pioneer gets chance with VFL Cats

Bendigo Pioneer Brent Daniels will make his VFL debut with Geelong tomorrow. (Geelong Cats Image/Arj Giese)

DRAFT prospect Brent Daniels is the latest Bendigo Pioneer to be given the chance to showcase his talents with Geelong’s VFL side, named in the Cats’ line-up for Saturday’s curtain raiser against Richmond.

Daniels is originally from Swan Hill but has boarded at Geelong Grammar the past two seasons and represented Vic Country at this year’s AFL national championships.

The 18-year-old has already had a taste of senior footy with Nyah West United in the Central Murray Football League back in 2015.

The 172cm small forward is likened to former St Kilda goalsneak Stephen Milne and said he’s excited to have an opportunity to step up and play at VFL level.

“Obviously it will be a big step up but to play out here (Simonds Stadium) will be a good experience and something that I’ll look forward to,” Daniels told krockfootball.com.au last night.

“The speed of the game will probably increase as well so it will take a bit to get used to but hopefully it’s not too bad and I get a few kicks.”

The Cats’ relationship with the Central Victorian TAC Cup club began with former football manager Troy Selwood back in 2015.

In the past two years, draftees Tom Cole (West Coast) and Joe Atley (Port Adelaide) have played VFL with Geelong.

Daniels kicked six goals from four matches in the national championships and has booted nine goals from four appearances with the Pioneers at TAC Cup level.

A talented cricketer as well, Daniels is one of four Bendigo players that board at Geelong Grammar and have trained regularly with Geelong’s VFL side this season.

The others include highly-touted draft prospects Paddy Dow, Jarrod Brander and Lochie O’Brien.

Saturday’s game will be the first VFL-AFL double header played at Simonds Stadium since 2014, while Geelong VFL last played a curtain raiser in 2015 at Etihad Stadium against Essendon.

In good news for Cats’ fans, speedster Darcy Lang is back after six weeks on the sidelines with a fractured leg, Wylie Buzza has been dropped from the AFL side and Matthew Hayball also returns.

The Cats will be without Esava Ratugolea (broken hand) and James Tsitas (knee) for the rest of the season while Rhys Stanley has been promoted to the AFL side.

Saturday’s game starts at 10.15am.

MEANWHILE Geelong’s VFL Women’s side have regained ruck Erin Hoare for its crucial clash against VU Western Spurs at Anthony Costa Oval.

Maighan Fogas, Teresa Telford and Ebony Tucker have been named on an extended bench.

The fifth-placed Spurs are a game and percentage ahead of the Cats (sixth) with three games left in the regular season, making Saturday must-win for Geelong.

Twitter: @GreenBradley

VFL MEN

Geelong (12th) vs. Richmond (5th)

Simonds Stadium

Saturday, August 12, 10:15am

VFL WOMEN

Geelong (6th) vs. VU Western Spurs (5th)

Anthony Costa Oval – West Kardinia 

Saturday, August 12, 11:45am