K rock Football

Quality returns for North

North Geelong will welcome back Jackson Bews for Saturday’s crucial clash with Bannockburn. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

MIDFIELD gun Jackson Bews and ruck Tom Davis are among seven handy inclusions for North Geelong as it prepares for a trip up the Ballarat Road to take on Bannockburn.

The Magpies will also welcome back Zac Schwenessen, Jacon Bruns, Aaron Best, Mark Paramanov and Dylan Fisher for the clash with the Tigers.

Coach Mark Hounslow says the return of so much talent is a confidence-booster for his team as they take on one of the competition’s best.

“They’re the benchmark along with Inverleigh and East Geelong at the moment,” he said.

“They all play a similar brand of footy; (they) move the footy pretty quick and get on the outside.

“We need to bring effort and a strong attitude – that’s what I’ve spoken to the blokes about.

“Bring those things, and we can stay in the game; it’s just doing it for longer periods of time.

“When we have lapses, we get scored against.”

Depending on other results, a win could have North just a game outside of the top five.

“Our aim was to be 3-3 after six rounds,” Hounslow said. “Last week, we had a dozen blokes out, and it hurt.

“We looked at that as a winnable game; Winch, around the same mark us.

“If we had gone 3-3, that was a tick for us.

After Bannockburn, North faces Thomson and Werribee Centrals before the Queen’s Birthday break.

“They are all winnable games,” Hounslow said.

“We have shown we can match it with the good teams. It’s just doing it for longer periods.

“And it’s a development phase, too, this year.

“With Andrew Bews and Jarrod Bryant with me, we understand where we’re at.

“It’s just trying to develop the players and understand the game plan a bit more and to execute it better.”

After missing the past fortnight with a hamstring injury, Charlie Farrell will be sidelined for another week under COVID protocols, while veteran Luke Parker is likely to be unavailable,

Former Geelong West GFL player Daniel Smith (knee) is closing in on his first game for the club.

Bryce Brockenshire won’t be seen until the second half of the season after hurting his finger against Anakie.

Twitter: @tom_king79