SUSTAINED pressure is the focus for the Bendigo Bank Pioneers in Saturday's TAC Cup under-18s football clash with Sandringham Dragons at Box Hill.
After consecutive defeats, Bendigo will be determined to take the points.
It’s a much stronger line-up that takes on Sandringham in the league’s 13th round.
Many of the Pioneers who played for Bendigo Senior Secondary College in last Sunday’s grand final on the MCG are back to play the Dragons.
Pioneers’ coach David Newett said pressure at centre clearances and stoppages would be crucial.
“In the losses to Gippsland and Eastern we just didn’t win enough possessions in those areas.
“It meant the opposition was in control of the play and defence was under a lot of pressure.”
Newett said the heavy conditions could lead to bigger-bodied players such as Liam Barrett from Kyabram and Daniel Davie from Kyneton in an onball role.
They will team with the likes of ruckman Jack Lawton, and talented midfielders Aidyn Johnson, Jacob Chisari, Jaden McGrath and Bailey Edwards in setting up attacks.
Kyneton’s Jordan Mangan has played well in a variety of key roles again this season.
The Chisari brothers from Mildura, Jacob and Matthew will team up in a TAC Cup match for the first time.
The Pioneers also regain Tom Cole and Josh Ryan after representing Victoria Country and NSW-ACT respectively in the AFL national under-18 championships.
Bendigo and Sandringham do battle from 2pm.