THERE have been changes aplenty at the Bendigo Bank Pioneers for Saturday's TAC Cup under-18s football clash with Gippsland Power at Morwell.
A victory in Bendigo’s final game of the season could put the seventh-placed Power out of the finals.
Doing so is going to be an almighty challenge for one of the Pioneers youngest teams of the year.
Three of the Pioneers best – Liam Byrne, Jacob Chisari and Isaiah Miller – will play for Bendigo Gold in Friday night’s VFL match against Geelong.
Several other players return to their clubs to contest or prepare for finals.
Brought in for their TAC Cup debut were Sam Ayre from Mallee Eagles, Brad Heffer from Koondrook-Barham and Lake Boga’s Matt Pickering.
“It’s a great opportunity for those boys who have been at training sessions across our region this season,” Bendigo Pioneers coach David Newett said.
“There are no guarantees they will be on the list for next season, but this is a chance to show what they can do.”
The Pioneers do regain 2011 club champion, Strathfieldsaye Storm’s Sam Heavyside after playing for Gold the past two rounds.
Among those earning a recall were South Mildura’s Lachlan Ryan, Balranald’s Cameron Barrett, Strathfieldsaye Storm’s Danny Jones and Golden Square’s Ben Connelly.
“The play of our big men – Jordan Mangan, Danny Jones, Brandon Spurr, Daniel Davie – will be really important,” Newett said.
Newett said the Pioneers workrate had to be much greater than last Saturday’s loss to the Western Jets.
“Our kicking efficiency must improve. Turnovers really hurt us against the Jets.”
Saturday's match starts at 11am at Morwell.