BENDIGO Gold coach Aussie Jones says his players shouldn’t be daunted by the challenge of taking on the Box Hill Hawks on Saturday.
Instead, it provides the perfect opportunity for his players to again show why VFL clubs should be interested in them next year by going out and testing themselves against the reigning premiers who are again one of the flag contenders.
“Box Hill has got a really strong team in, but as we’ve spoken about the past few weeks, I’ll keep saying to the guys that if you want to prove you’re good enough at this level and show other people that you’re good enough, go out and take a scalp on Saturday against one of the best VFL clubs of the past few years,” Jones said on Friday.
“We’ll aim to play with some freedom on Saturday... that’s to not go out and play as individuals, but to give the guys a chance to show off their talent to other VFL clubs, or the outside chance that there could still be an AFL club looking.”
Box Hill - sitting fourth on the ladder - named an extended squad of 31 players on Thursday night that included 2013 Hawthorn premiership players Brad Sewell and Jonathan Simpkin.
Fellow premiership players Brian Lake and Jack Gunston had also been named in the squad, but will play for the Hawks against Fremantle.
Bendigo Pioneer Cameron Barrett gets the opportunity to show his wares as the Gold’s 23rd player.
Saturday’s game at the Box Hill City Oval starts at 2pm.