Belief the key



Traralgon will vie for its first win of the season when it returns home to host Wonthaggi in round two of the Gippsland League.

While disappointed with his side’s 11-point opening round loss to reigning premier Sale, coach Paul McCulloch said the Maroons will return home with the belief they can match it with the competition’s top sides.

“It will be good to get a win in our first appearance at home,” McCulloch said.

Having won its past six matches against Wonthaggi, Traralgon will take plenty of confidence into the match. The Maroons will be bolstered by the inclusion of Michael Burge, Lee Stockdale and Darren White, who are all expected to be included in this weekend’s line up.

The Maroons lineup could also feature some Gippsland Power players who have been given the green light to go back to their clubs during this weekend’s TAC Cup development weekend.

“I have said to the boys that they are allowed to go back but as the year goes on we sort of monitor them and see how they feel,” Gippsland Power coach Nick Stevens said.

Morwell v Warragul

Morwell will look to make it two-in-a-row when it plays its first home game against Warragul.

Both teams posted opening round wins.

“I’ve watched Warragul play last year; it’ll be a good test, a good hit out for us,” Tiger coach Harmit Singh said.

Julian Blackford is expected to return to the Morwell lineup after missing the opening round with a niggling injury.

Fifteen year-old Ben Ainsworth is expected to hold onto his place in the seniors after an impressive performance last week.

Drouin v Moe

Moe travels to Drouin to take on the Hawks and will look for its first win for the season.

The match will be one of a handful Lions coach Jason MacFarlane has set out to win.

“I’d like to hope we can push Drouin to its limits, they (the Hawks) are a bit depleted like ourselves,” Lions coach Jason MacFarlane said. However, the Lions’ record on the road against Drouin has not been ideal.

Moe defeated Drouin when it returned to the premier league back in 2005. However, it is an effort it has repeated just once in the six years since.

“We haven’t focused on that; our focus is on trying to win a game of footy… the way we work the footy up the ground,” MacFarlane said.

He said his team’s fitness was the most disappointing thing to emerge from last week’s loss to Maffra.

“I think it showed the boys that they can’t get away with training once a week, they need to train twice to three times,” MacFarlane said.

Sale will be looking to extend its 15-match winning streak and will equal the club record set by the club’s 1973 premiership team when it takes on Leongatha.

The Magpies and the Parrots will meet for the first time since round 18 last year, a match which could not have gone much worse for Leongatha which was kept goalless.