BENDIGO Gold coach Aussie Jones is excited by the challenge of taking on a Northern Blues midfield potentially packed with Carlton-listed players.
The Gold and Blues will meet at the Queen Elizabeth Oval in round 11 of the VFL season on Sunday.
“Carlton still has to finalise their team for their AFL game on Sunday, but we know that Jeff Garlett will be playing against us,” Jones said.
“It was only a couple of years ago that Garlett kicked 40 goals in the AFL, so it’s going to be a great challenge for Jesse Wallin, who will play on him.
“Jesse gets a job every week on the best opposition forward and he hasn’t been beaten.
“And then you have a look through the midfield where they could possibly have Brock McLean, Jaryd Cachia, Kane Lucas, Nick Graham and Ed Curnow.
“That’s a great opportunity for our young guys like Daniel Toman, Sam Heavyside, Liam Byrne and Jake Aarts to pit themselves against those players.
“The chance for our players to test themselves against those quality players is why we still have plenty of motivation in the group.”
The Gold are now the only winless team in the VFL after losing to Frankston by 36 points last Sunday.
It was a game where the Gold created 22 scoring shots - their most for the season - but they kicked themselves out of the contest with a poor return of 6.16.
“While we struggled to put the score on the board last week, at least we were able to have those opportunities,” Jones said.
“As well as those scoring shots we probably had another half-a-dozen where it was only the last possession in scoring range that let us down.
“Forward of centre it was our best performance of the year, so hopefully, we can build on that on Sunday.”
Sunday’s game between the Gold and the Blues, who are 5-4 and 10th on the ladder, starts at 1.30pm.