Gisborne’s Shaun Comerford has a medial ligament injury.IN a development season where Gisborne is lacking experience on its list, the Bulldogs have suffered a double blow with injuries to two of their older players.
After playing in the Bulldogs’ BFNL season-opener last Saturday against Kyneton,Anthony Belcher and Shaun Comerford will be both forced to watch on from the sidelines this Monday against Golden Square.
Comerford is unlikely to be back until the second half of the season after injuring his medial ligament in his knee against the Tigers, while Belcher injured a hamstring at training on Tuesday night.
With the Bulldogs having suffered an exodus of experience, Gisborne can ill-afford the losses of the duo, coupled with another of its veterans in Luke Saunders battling an Achilles injury that is delaying his return to the field.
“We were young last Saturday and it looks like we’re going to be younger again this week given that we’ve lost Belcher and Comerford,” Gisborne coach Brad Spear said on Wednesday.
“We’ll bring in another couple of kids and see how we go. We’ll be aiming to be competitive like we were for the whole game last week against Kyneton.
“If we can do that, it will tick a box, and whatever areas we may fail in, we’ll continue to work on that during the week and learn from it.”
Tipped to be one of the battlers this season, Gisborne produced an encouraging round-one performance against what many expect to be a finals-bound Kyneton on Saturday.
The young Bulldogs were within 14 points of Kyneton at three quarter-time, before the Tigers finished 32-point victors.
One of the major shining lights from the game was the performance of 16-year-old full-forward Jack Scanlon, who kicked six of the Bulldogs’ 12 goals on debut.
“For a 16-year-old to debut like that was obviously really pleasing, and he’s one of those young players we can build around,” Spear said.
“He’s very talented, reads the play incredibly well and has terrific hands, but because of his age we’re going to be careful with how we use him because we don’t want to put too much pressure on him.”
Scanlon kicked his bag of six goals without a miss.
Monday’s Anzac Day game against Golden Square at Gardiner Reserve that starts at 4.20pm will double as a past players day and reunion of Gisborne’s2006 premiership team when it beatSquare by 25 points, 13.11 (89) to 9.10 (64).
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