THE Bendigo Football Netball League will have a new inter-league captain after Simon Rosa was ruled out of next month’s clash with Gippsland at the QEO.
Rosa was informed by a specialist on Wednesday that the hand injury he suffered last Friday was worse than first thought and that he would be sidelined for four to six weeks.
The Golden Square star will miss club games against Gisborne, Kyneton, Maryborough and Eaglehawk, plus the inter-league clash.
His aim is to return for Golden Square’s contest with arch-rival Sandhurst at the QEO on May 31.
“Unfortunately, there’s more than one break in the hand,’’ Rosa said.
“I’ve been told it will take four to six weeks, but hopefully I’m a quick healer.”
Rosa, who has captained the BFNL for the past three years, heads a long injury list for the BFNL ahead of next week’s first training session under rookie coach Rick Ladson, who himself is yet to play a game this year because of injury.
Rosa and Ladson’s club team-mate Corey Jones, Gisborne’s Casey Summerfield, Strathfieldsaye’s Sam Mildren, Tom Bartholomew, Lachlan Sharp, Shaun Everington, Shannon Geary and Leigh Prior would be walk-up starters for the inter-league squad, but injuries have them in doubt for the May 24 game.
“Ideally, we’d love to have everyone available, but we’ve got a few guys with injuries at the moment,’’ Ladson said.
“If they don’t come up it gives some fresh faces a chance at inter-league footy.
“Every year you like to see some new guys get a chance at that next level.
“I’m confident that Bendigo will have a very strong team even if some of those injured players don’t play.”
The BFNL’s campaign starts with a training session at Kangaroo Flat next Wednesday.
“We’re just finalising a few things, but at the moment we’ve got a squad of about 65,’’ Ladson said.
“Overall, the response from the clubs has been pretty good.”
One new face to the BFNL who will be named in the training squad is former St Kilda forward Stephen Milne, who has kicked eight goals in two games for the Storm.
“I’ve been told that Milney is keen to play inter-league,’’ Ladson said.
Strathfieldsaye assistant coach Daniel Geary and former Gisborne coach Ty Elliott have been appointed Ladson’s assistants for the inter-league campaign.
“I’m very happy to have Daniel and Ty on board,’’ he said.
“They’re both quality people who know their footy.”
Bendigo is ranked seventh in the Worksafe Country Championships and will play eighth-ranked Gippsland at the QEO.