Sport

Bushies hit the road hoping to cement a top four spot

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August 05, 2017

Zane Barzen misses out on Murray Bushrangers clash with a knee issue

A Shepparton United player returns while another Demon heads out of the Murray Bushrangers side for the match against Greater Western Victoria Rebels.

Kyle Clarke will take his place on Ikon Park tomorrow after injuring his ankle in the early stages of the Bushies match against Calder last month, while Zane Barzen misses with a knee issue.

‘‘Zane Barzen has a knee complaint, so he’ll be out for a couple of weeks, he hurt it against Western Jets and we’ve been trying to manage it since then but he’ll have some time to get it right,’’ Murray coach Leon Higgins said.

Higgins is looking forward to having Clarke back, as he continues to push up into the midfield.

‘‘He’ll be a good inclusion for us, he can play midfield, forward and back,’’ Higgins said.

‘‘I think he’ll be starting in the forward line, it’s a big, wide ground so it’ll be good to get speed in our forwards.’’

Barooga’s Daniel Johnston is a huge asset in the attacking 50, being a valuable strong marking target for his teammates.

In last week’s win against Bendigo, Johnston snared eight goals on an enjoyable day out.

The haul brings him up to 41 majors for the year as he sits on top of the TAC Cup goal kicking tally, nine clear of his closest rival.

But there have been many other valuable contributors in the forward line, as the Bushies look to combat the loss of Barzen, who can be relied on to sneak a couple of goals in a match.

Shepparton’s Jordon Butts and Nathalia’s Tom Boyd will again be used in either 50 by Higgins.

‘‘Those players are pretty versatile at both ends of the ground and flexibility is probably our strength,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s actually good for the boys and for their future prospects to show that they can play at both ends.’’

The Bushies defeated the Rebels by 50 points last time the two sides met as a win would cement Murray’s top four spot.

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