RIVALS will get an insight into North Warrnambool Eagles’ improvement when the club unveils several recruits in the Hampden league’s pre-season football competition at Port Fairy today.
Nanjing Night Net

The Eagles, which finished fifith last season after an historic elimination final appearance, have been touted as the big improvers after an aggressive recruiting campaign netted a posse of quality players.

While several of the new Eagles will be on show today in the Eagles’ two preliminary games, coach David Haynes revealed not all would take to the field.

Haynes, who is unlikely to play himself, said he wanted to use the pre-season competition to get a handle on his players’ capabilities and assess rivals.

He said key signings Jordan Dillon, from South Warrnambool, and former Koroit midfielder Dean Gavin would make their debuts in the Eagles colours.

Former Cobden key position player Brendan Murfett, Terang Mortlake defender Matt Spencer and Bulleen Templestowe recruit David Lush would also play.

Haynes said the Eagles were missing “15 or 16” players from their senior list because of other commitments.

He said he would use the club’s matches against South Colac and Warrnambool to get time into recruits and emerging youngsters.

Young players like Andy McMeel and Ryan McElgunn, who played seniors last year, would get opportunities to impress along with a host of young recruits including Tom O’Leary, Mitch Bowman, Joe Dwyer and Luke Wines.

“I’m pretty keen for the boys to get some competitive work. It’s more for them to get a good hit-out,” Haynes said.

North Warrnambool Eagles isn’t the only club without its full list. With the region’s cricket competitions either in grand finals or semi-finals, most will lose stars to the summer code.

Action kicks off at 9am, with fierce rivals Warrnambool and Koroit squaring off in the opening match of two 20-minute halves. All eight Hampden league clubs will be joined by Warrnambool and District league side Panmure and Colac and District team South Colac in the competition.

All teams are guaranteed two matches. The top two will play off in a grand final at 5.15pm, with the winner pocketing $4000 and the runner-up $1000.

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