Sport

Shepparton raring to go against Shepparton United

By Shepparton News

Good sides look forward to their next match and Shepparton is raring to go against rival Shepparton United.

The second-placed Bears have only dropped three games and are currently on a hot streak having not lost since a round-eight clash against Benalla.

Shepparton coach Sean Harrap is hoping his side’s streak extends to eight matches at Deakin Reserve tomorrow after the premier sporting ground in the region was void of any Goulburn Valley League action last Saturday.

‘‘It was good, it was only two weeks, but it felt like eight, with a few little injury niggles it was good to get a break,’’ Harrap said.

‘‘We look forward to the game, there’s a big rivalry there, we were probably in their position a few years ago, when they were in their premiership window we copped a few shellackings.

‘‘United has actually competed quite well against us in the last couple of years. That’s probably to do with the rivalry between the clubs, no matter where the clubs are on the table you get a good game.’’

With Kyabram on the horizon next week, key forward John Bradaric’s bad luck with injury continues as he misses with a knee niggle and will travel to Melbourne early next week to seek treatment.

But small forward Luke Smith will be ready to shoulder some of the load as he notches his first milestone with Shepparton after transferring from Congupna.

In his 50th game, Harrap said Smith could cause headaches for the Demons across the ground.

‘‘He’s had a terrific year and some people might think he had a down year last year only kicking 20-odd goals, but he was pretty much injured all year with a hip complaint,’’ Harrap said.

‘‘He’s had a great year, he can play midfield or forward and even bob up at half-back.’’

Shepparton United coach Stephen Scott said while the side was struggling with injuries, the Demons were aiming to stand tall on Saturday.

‘‘We’re building as a club at the moment, so we want to finish the year pretty strong,’’ Scott said.

‘‘There’s no better opportunity than playing against a side in the top three to see where the side is really at.

‘‘We’ve got to be hard at the footy, their pressure is outstanding and we need to not turn over the football.

‘‘If we do that, we need to get back to the way we play, control the football and use our leg speed.’’