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From Ballarat Courier

WAYNE Schultz makes his senior debut with North Ballarat against Bendigo Bombers in the Victorian Football League at Stawell tomorrow.

His selection is a reward for persistence.

Schultz, who turns 25 on Tuesday, joined the Selkirk Roosters from Ballarat league club Sebastopol last year and has had to work hard to finally get the nod from coach Gerard FitzGerald.

It is appropriate that Schultz makes his debut in what is North Ballarat's first regional home game, with him being originally from nearby Horsham.

FitzGerald said Schultz was yet another endorsement for the Roosters' development system - giving players from throughout the western region an opportunity to play the best football outside the AFL.

Schultz's inclusion is to help cover the loss of the fleet-footed Steve Dinnell (knee) and Steve Clifton (hamstring).

The Roosters will not finalise their line-up until after a training session this morning, but as well as Schultz, the Kangaroos' Lindsay Thomas was last night the only other definite inclusion. Thomas replaces Matt Campbell,

who returns to the Kangaroos.

Gun full forward Aaron Edwards is also in the running to play for North Ballarat.

However, Edwards has been suffering from knee soreness and his availability will depend on how he pulls up after training with the Kangaroos today.

If Edwards does get the all clear, he will add to an already potent attack which features Callum Urch, Leigh Harding and Rob Gregg, and reaps the benefits of the midfield running power of Djaran Whyman and Eddie Sansbury.

FitzGerald is putting a heavy emphasis on the stature of this game, describing it as a dress rehearsal for the finals.

He said he would be looking for a lot more out of the likes of Urch and Harding, now that they had a few games under the belt after injury, to complement the defensive work of Matt Sharkey, Shaune Moloney, Ayden George and Michael Searl - a group which had developed into a tight unit.

THIS WEEKEND'S VFL MATCHES

TODAY:

Northern Bullants v Coburg Tigers, Tasmania v Sandringham.

TOMORROW:

North Ballarat v Bendigo Bombers at Stawell, Williamstown v Casey Scorpions, Frankston v Geelong, Box Hill Hawks v Port Melbourne. Werribee bye.