HEATHCOTE District coach Nick Carter believes "keeping it simple" is the best approach to ending the league's three-game losing streak.
Carter is again at the helm of Heathcote District for its inter-league tussle with Sunraysia at Mildura's Sarah Oval in the 17 v 18 match-up of the AFL Victoria Community Championships on Saturday.
Heathcote District hasn't won an inter-league game since defeating Central Murray by 29 points in a 41-goal shootout at the QEO in 2015.
Since then Heathcote District has lost to Bellarine (80 points), Central Murray (43) and Geelong District (9).
"For us, it's all about trying to keep the game plan as simple as possible," Carter said on Friday.
"We want to get the simple things right, but play a fast, attacking brand of footy... a no-fuss style of footy that will allow us to get the best out of each other.
"One of the things we've spoken about is we will have multiple options who will go through the forward half and midfield, as well as across half-back.
"We don't know a lot about Sunraysia, but expect them to be similar to us in terms of having a good list to pick from and a good spread of young players like we have, as well as some season players."
Among the seasoned players in the Heathcote District side is North Bendigo's Jarrod Findlay, who has been appointed captain for what will be his fifth game representing the league.
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This is Findlay's first time as captain of the league.
"It's a massive honour and something I'm proud of and thankful for the opportunity," Findlay said.
"I really enjoy the inter-league concept and love playing with the good players around the league.
"You look back at some of the blokes who have captained the league before like Tim Hill and Josh Gitsham, they are quality players and to be held in that regard is a massive compliment."
This year's Heathcote District league team is stacked with fresh faces into the competition.
Saturday's team of 22 features Bart Phillips, Codie Price, Pascale Craig Sam Kerridge, Jake Hyland, Romain Grenville, Tyler Phillips and Todd Clarke who are all recruits into the competition this year.
For Kerridge, the trip to Mildura will be a homecoming given that's where he played his football before moving onto the Bendigo Pioneers and then forging a 69-game AFL career with Adelaide and Carlton.
The 26-year-old is now coaching White Hills and is playing this weekend, despite having been hampered by an elbow problem since late in the pre-season.
"It will be nice to get home and see the family... I haven't played in Mildura for quite a while, so it was good when I found out Heathcote District would be playing Sunraysia," Kerridge said.
"I know quite a few footballers up there and no doubt they will have a quality side, so I'm really looking forward to getting out there and getting to know a few of the lads a bit better.
"There's plenty of quality talent in the league and it will be great to see that on display on Saturday."
Kerridge has been named in the centre and along with Findlay and Matt Pollock will spearhead the midfield, while the in-form duo of Brady Hore and Aarryn Craig - last year's best player against Geelong District - will provide plenty of rebounding drive off half-back.
The forward line has suffered a double blow with the withdrawals of the dynamic Mitch Dole and Ben Weightman, but still has firepower in Grenville - who kicked eight goals on debut for Elmore last month - Darcy Richards, Harry Whittle and James Harney.
Like Findlay, Saturday will also be Harney's fifth inter-league game for Heathcote District.
Findlay says the team is making the 400km trek from Bendigo to Mildura confident it can get the job done and halt its slide down the AFL Victoria rankings.
"We've got a good mix of players. We might be a bit under-sized down back, but we have a lot of good running players and, hopefully, we can move the ball well," Findlay said.
"If we work for each other and play well as a unit I'm confident we'll be right.
"Three losses in a row has been pretty disappointing and probably not an accurate reflection of the top end talent the league has had over the past few years.
"We're a lot better than that, so I'm really keen for a win to start getting us back up the rankings."
Experienced defender Hoby Bussey, also playing his fifth inter-league game for Heathcote District, is vice-captain of the team.
Sunraysia is also coming off a defeat last year when it lost to Central Murray by 41 points at Swan Hill.
Saturday's inter-league game between Heathcote District and Sunraysia starts at 1pm.
The two leagues will also meet in an open netball contest against each other.
SENIOR FOOTBALL, 1pm:
B: H. Bussey, P. Craig, J. Tuohey
HB: B. Hore, B. Phillips, A. Craig
C: C. Price, S. Kerridge, D. McLean
HF: J. Hyland, D. Richards, J. Harney
F: J. Allport, R. Grenville, H. Whittle
R: T. Phillips, M. Pollock, J. Findlay
INTER: K. Bedford, R. Irwin, M. Bennett, T. Clarke
B: C. Hards, M. Mazzini, Z. Wandin
HB: T. Martin, M. Taylor, A. Morrish
C: H. Caldwell, D. Coghlan, P. Moi Moi
HF: J. Carmichael, L. Johnson, N. Mee
F: W. Hancock, T. Curtis, N. Pezzaniti
R: N. Jensen, B. Hards, R. Hards
INTER: A. Rowe, A. Richardson, Z.Nelson, L. Murdoch
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