Injuries to top-end talent marring 2017 BFNL season

SIDELINED: A serious thumb injury has restricted Sandhurst's reigning Michelsen medallist Kristan Height to just 11 games this BFNL season. Height is one of many stars hampered by injury this year. Picture: DARREN HOWE

SIDELINED: A serious thumb injury has restricted Sandhurst's reigning Michelsen medallist Kristan Height to just 11 games this BFNL season. Height is one of many stars hampered by injury this year. Picture: DARREN HOWE

“THEY’RE dropping like flies”.

That’s one way of summing up the Bendigo Football-Netball League this year in what has been a season plagued by injuries to key players.

Injuries are part of any football season and affect every club, but this year it seems the toll to the top-end talent is as extreme as it has been in modern times.

In what’s an open season in the flag race, this year, more so than ever, whoever is holding the premiership cup aloft on September 23 may well be the side that has the best luck on the injury front throughout September.

Injury news was again among the Bendigo Advertiser’s top football stories last week – Travis Baird (hamstring), Matt Thornton (broken foot) and Isaiah Miller (kidney tear) all out for the rest of the season.

Miller and Thornton were both inter-league players this year; Baird would have been too had he not been injured at the time.

Every week this year it seems a club has had to deal with a fresh injury to one of its top-line players and most have had their depth severely tested.

The list of key players who have spent at least three games on the sidelines through injury in 2017 certainly makes for a who’s who of Bendigo football.

Injuries are part of any football season and affect every club, but this year it seems the toll to the top-end talent is as extreme as it has been in modern times

A team made up of players who have missed at least three games to injury could look something like:

B: Scott Hann, Brayden Dorrington, Clayton Anderson

Hb: Glenn Daly, Lachlan Ross, Clinton Young

C: Nick Stagg, Josh Bowe, Ethan Foreman

Hf: Simon Seddon, Travis Baird, Kaiden Antonowicz

F: Nick Lang, Matt Gretgrix, Sean Williams

Foll: Tim Martin, Jack Geary, Kristan Height 

Inter: (from) Hamish Govan, Adam Parry, Kieran Strachan, Hamish Morcom, Corey Greer, Jesse Collins, Brady Childs, Tom Dowd, Mitch Dole, Cameron Rinaldi, Matt Johnston, Jamieson Sheahan, Mark Ramsey, Joel Swatton, Trent McInnes, Jayden Donaldson, Brad Stringer... get the picture?

As well as the usual hamstrings, shoulders, ankles and so on, there has also been some rarer injuries suffered this year.

Namely Golden Square youngster Callum Draper having his spleen removed following a knock in the Bulldogs’ round 12 win over Sandhurst, the Bloods’ Miller suffering a kidney tear against Golden Square in round 16, and Kangaroo Flat co-coach Corey Greer’s “displaced vertebral disc”.

Across the competition, a total of 385 players have taken to the field in senior football – an average of 38.5 per club with one round left.

Of those 385 players, only 56 – or 14.5 per cent – have lined up in every game for their team, with Golden Square and South Bendigo the clubs with the most at eight players each.

This season’s range of players used by clubs varies from 33 to 46.

Top-of-the-ladder Eaglehawk has used the least amount of players with 33, but the Hawks are also the equal least when it comes to those who have played every game with just four.

Kangaroo Flat, Maryborough and Sandhurst have also had only four players who have taken to the field in all 17 games

Castlemaine tops the tally for most players used with 46 in what has added to the challenges of first-year coach Derrick Filo.

Unfortunately, injuries are part of football – but this season more than most it’s certainly being felt among the top echelon of players.

• BFNL club player numbers:

CASTLEMAINE (2-15)

Players used – 46.

Played every game – 7.Jackson Hood, Kalan Huntly, Jarryd Graham, John Watson, Rhys Jenkins, Adam Robinson, Jack Timmins. 

……………………………….

EAGLEHAWK (15-2)

Players used – 33.

Played every game – 4.Ben McPhee, Riley Saunders, Cam McGlashan, Tyler Miles.

……………………………….

GISBORNE (6-11)

Players used – 40.

Played every game – 5.Thomas Wood, Connor Kilbane, Patrick Trotta, Eamon McKenna, Oliver Clough.

……………………………….

GOLDEN SQUARE

(13-3-1)

Players used – 34.

Played every game – 8. Adam Baird, Jake Thrum, Jordan Rosengren, Matt Compston, Dale Lowry, Jon Coe, Lachlan Humphrey, William Lee.

……………………………….

KANGAROO FLAT (3-14)

Players used – 38

Played every game – 4.Alex Pearson, Jonathan Lanyon, Lloyd Needs, Ross Turner. 

……………………………….

KYNETON (10-5-2)

Players used – 34.

Played every game – 7. Ben Weightman, Rhys Magin, Nicholas Brazil, Billy Mahony, Josh Govan, Michael Clancy, Taylor Kelly.

……………………………….

MARYBOROUGH (1-16)

Players used – 42.

Played every game – 4. Matthew Coon, Ethan Crackel, Mitchell McClure, William Short. 

……………………………….

SANDHURST (10-6-1)

Players used – 39.

Played every game – 4. Lee Coghlan, Joel Wharton, Alex Wharton, Liam Ireland.

……………………………….

SOUTH BENDIGO (9-8)

Players used – 40.

Played every game – 8. Brad Wright, Liam Bartels, Brock Harvey, Mitch Rogerson, Blair Whelan, Aaron Connaughton, Nicholas Howe, Adrian Coad. 

……………………………….

STRATHFIELDSAYE

(14-3)

Players used – 39.

Played every game – 5. Lachlan Sharp, Fergus Payne, Lachlan Bonney, Trent Donnan, Keelan Payne.

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