Sport

GVL Football | Tiger forward free to play against United

By Aydin Payne

Rochester forward Liam Bartels will be free to play in tomorrow's round 17 clash against Shepparton United after receiving a reprimand from the tribunal on Wednesday night.

Bartels was charged for misconduct in last Saturday's win against the Shepparton Swans.

The in-form forward was yellow carded in the opening minutes of the match for an incident that occurred before the game started.

Bartels pleaded guilty to the misconduct and was handed a reprimand, freeing him to take on the Demons tomorrow at Moon Oval.

"Liam got cleared to play this weekend, there were no issues on Wednesday night," Rochester coach James Flaherty said.

"We should actually head in with no changes which is a great sign."

The Tigers remain outside the top six in seventh position with two rounds to play, sitting equal on points with Tatura (sixth).

Flaherty's men are pushing to become the first side in more than a decade to reach finals after starting the season with four straight losses.

The departing coach highlighted the disappointing start to the Swans encounter, saying his side went away from its structures.

"We weren't impressed with our first half performance last week," Flaherty said.

"We just went away from our structures and we weren't playing the footy we wanted too."

Flaherty said it was important for the side to be on its game with finals at stake.

"Exactly, finals are a huge step up in intensity and pressure," he said.

"You need to be at your best and playing to your structure.

"United has had a couple of big scalps this season.

"We can't go in expecting to get the job done, we know what they are capable of."

United coach Stephen Scott said his troops were looking forward to trying to spoil Rochester's season.

"The boys are excited to get out there against a top side," he said.

"We'e really looking forward to the next fortnight, hopefully we can see improvements from the start of the season.

"That's the focus for us, just looking to see where we have progressed as a side."

Scott, who joins Flaherty as an outgoing coach, hoped his side would be able to welcome back Shane Neaves and Shane Sali for tomorrow's clash.

"We'll lose the Bushies (Murray Bushrangers) boys (Zane Barzen and Liam Fiore)," he said.

"But hopefully we can get back Neavesy and (Shane) Sali.

"I really rate Neavesy as one of the best ruckmen in the comp.

"It's be massive for our midfielders if he can get back in."