June 22, 2007
From Ballarat Courier
NORTH Ballarat coach Gerard FitzGerald is confident Tom Roach will be right to line up against Coburg Tigers in the Victorian Football League at AUSTAR Arena tomorrow.
While FitzGerald said he was unable to declare Roach over the line, he had been encouraged by what his hard-running midfielder had done on the training track.
"I'm more confident now than I was before training on Wednesday night," FitzGerald said yesterday.
Roach left the ground late in the first quarter against Casey Scorpions six days ago with a slight thigh strain and did not return.
Jacob Spolding is not so fortunate.
He remains sidelined with a corked thigh for a third match.
FitzGerald said Spolding was able to run, but his kicking was substantially restricted.
The inclusion of the Kangaroos' Kasey Green for the injured Tristan Cartledge (knee) is the only change to the team which defeated Casey by 14 points.
Cartledge is out four to five weeks with a strained medial ligament.
FitzGerald plans to increase the workload of key forward Callum Urch tomorrow.
FItzGerald eased Urch back after a long-term hamstring injury in the win over the Scorpions - using him off the bench.
"We wanted to ensure he finished the match without any problems," FitzGerald said.
Urch sustained his hamstring injury last time the Selkirk Roosters played Coburg in the second round.
He made a bright start with a booming goal, but lasted only a few minutes.
While North Ballarat has lost its number one big man in Cartledge, the Tigers will be boosted by Richmond ruckman Troy Simmonds and former Geelong forward Kent Kingsley, who was yesterday dropped by Richmond.
Struggling with an ankle injury, Simmonds has played only four times in the AFL this year and has not seen action since May 6.
KANGAROOS running goalkicker Leigh Harding has been selected in the North Ballarat reserves for his first game since a knee reconstruction at the end of the 2006 AFL home and away season.