CASTLEMAINE president Caleb Kuhle says the Magpies' playing group must show it's resilient as it prepares for another tough challenge in the Bendigo Football-Netball League on Saturday.
The Magpies need no reminding of the saying: "a week is a long time in football".
After snapping a 48-game losing streak that stretched back to 2018 on April 16, seven days later last Saturday an undermanned Magpies side was held goal-less in a 223-point belting from Gisborne at Gardiner Reserve.
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The senior hiding followed the Magpies having to withdraw their reserves team due to a lack of numbers after the club was impacted by COVID in the week leading into the Gisborne trip.
While the club's numbers should be more healthy on Saturday - Kuhle indicated on Wednesday the reserves would return - it gets no easier for the Magpies in terms of opposition when they host Strathfieldsaye at Camp Reserve.
"All you can ask for, no matter what the situation, is that your players are giving their all," said Kuhle, who was called up to the senior side for last week's hiding from the Bulldogs.
"All I want to see is continual improvement and buy-in. I get that we are still a young group and we're going to have ups and downs.
"Gisborne is a superior club in the league and this week we come up against another of those superior clubs in Strathfieldsaye and I want our boys to really shine and show resilience.
"Not scoring a goal isn't acceptable and we had some opportunities against Gisborne, but we made some wrong decisions and I would hope we can rectify it this week against Strathfieldsaye.
"You just never know what can happen... I still remember when Castlemaine was down towards the bottom of the ladder and beat Strathfieldsaye at the Camp Reserve (round 10, 2013).
"I just want to see a competitive performance from the group on Saturday."
A positive for the Magpies' hopes of an improved performance on Saturday is one of their key pre-season signings Bailey Henderson has been named in the centre.
Henderson is on Richmond's VFL list, but the Tigers have the bye this week.
Strathfieldsaye is an opposition Henderson knows well, with the class mid/forward having played in a flag with the Storm in 2019.
Henderson has had a combined 47 possessions, 17 marks, nine clearances and kicked six goals in his two games for the Magpies so far this season against Kyneton and Maryborough.
WHILE it may still be only early in the Bendigo Football-Netball League season, the importance of Saturday's clash against Kyneton isn't lost on South Bendigo coach Nathan Horbury.
With the Bloods and Tigers both 1-2, Saturday presents the opportunity for one side to get back on an even keel at 2-2, while the loser will find themselves needing to climb out of a 1-3 hole.
The Bloods and Tigers will meet at the Kyneton Showgrounds, with South Bendigo aiming to build on last week's eight-point victory over Sandhurst at the QEO.
"It's a bit like an eight-point game for us early in the season," Horbury said this week.
"It's a big game and, hopefully, we can head down there and knock them off.
"We know that Kyneton is always hard to beat down there and they have some really good footballers, so it's going to be a tough ask, but I have plenty of belief in the group we've got."
Class midfielder Horbury has been under an injury cloud this week after his game against the Dragons last Saturday ended in the first half with a rib concern.
Horbury was named in the Bloods' team on Thursday night, but earlier in the week said he was awaiting the results of a scan before making a call on whether he will line up or not.
The Bloods' top-ranked Premier Data player over the first three rounds of the season has been prolific midfielder Cooper Leon.
Leon was a ball magnet for the Bloods in his debut season at the club last year and has found plenty of the pill already this year, having racked up at least 30 touches in each game so far - 38 vs Golden Square in round 1, 30 vs Eaglehawk in round 2 and 34 last week vs Sandhurst for a total of 102.
Leon's 408 points have him ranked the No.5 player in the league behind Gisborne's Brad Bernacki (599), Maryborough's Aiden Hare (421), Golden Square's Jack Geary (419) and Joel Brett (416).
Kyneton heads into Saturday's clash with the Bloods off a 45-point loss to Strathfieldsaye last week.
New key defender Frazer Driscoll has made a solid start for the Tigers, leading the competition in rebound 50s with 28 and fellow defender Harrison Huntley is ranked No.1 for spoils (21), while Hamish Yunghanns' 27 effective tackles are eight more than any other other player in the competition and he has also earned more free kicks (15) than any other player.
The Bloods and Tigers have made a habit in recent years of playing matches that have gone down to the wire.
Six of their past nine meetings have been decided by 10 points or less.
Saturday's senior game starts at 2.20pm.
2.20pm Saturday at QEO.
B: Tanner Nally, Jake Wilkinson, Martin Leyden
HB: Lachlan Murdoch, Liam Ireland, Isaac Ruff
C: Cooper Smith, Zach Pallpratt, Alex Wharton
HF: Joel Wharton, Sean O'Farrell, Lachie Hood
F: Matt Thornton, Cobi Maxted, Lachlan Zimmer
FOLL: Hamish Hosking, Noah Walsh, Jeremy Rodi
INTER: Lee Coghlan, Harrison Free, Jake McLean, Brodie Montague
EMERG: Billy Robertson
B: Dane Spear, Jake Hywood, Darcy Kelly
HB: Kyle Symons, Nicholas Keogh, Patrick Murphy
C: Jade Mayes, Mitch Trewhella, Hakeem Johnson
HF: Lachy Wilson, Sam Barnes, Mitch Holt
F: Mitch Rovers, Max Johnson, Ethan Roberts
FOLL: Nick Lang, Liam Collins, Mitch Collins
INTER: Hamish O'Brien, Brodie Fry, Hamish Lockhart, Bryce Franzini
2.20pm Saturday at Kyneton.
B: Ben Xiriha, Harrison Huntley, Jake Safstrom
HB: Louis Thompson, Frazer Driscoll, Mason Crozier
C: Louis Phillips, Andrew Beckerley, Mitch Comben
HF: Hamish Yunghanns, Guy Dickson, Cameron Wallace
F: Bailey McGee, Ryan Pretty, Rhys Magin
FOLL: James Orr, Cameron Manuel, Dean Bartrop
INTER: James Gaff, Mitchell Johns, Harrison Sheahan, Lachlan Read
B: Cameron Taggert, Daniel Johnstone, Zac Hare
HB: Braydan Torpey, Andrew van Heumen, Isaiah Miller
C: Nathan Horbury, Cooper Leon, Oscar White
HF: Sam Langley, Alex Smith, Michael Herlihy
F: Kaiden Antonowicz, Brock Harvey, Will Keck
FOLL: Will Allen, Liam Byrne, Tom Brereton
INTER: Wil McCaig, Lachlan Furness, Bailey Hall, Jack Maher
2.20pm Saturday at Castlemaine.
B: David Stephens, Tyson Hickey, John Watson
HB: Jackson Hood, Declan Slingo, Riley Pedretti
C: Dakota Slingo, Bailey Henderson, Brodie Byrne
HF: Dylan Hickey, Liam Wilkinson, Nicholas Woodman
F: Jackson Byrne, Tommy Horne, Jack Chester
FOLL: Sam Nettleton, Tom Cain, Brad Keogh
INTER: from Callum McConachy, William Moran, Jordan Cochrane, Hadley Bassett, James Collie, Caleb Kuhle
B: Patrick Blandford, Shannon Murphy, Lachlan Ratcliffe
HB: Riley Clarke, Ben Lester, Lachlan Gill
C: Jack Neylon, Fergus Payne, Kallen Geary
HF: Jye Formosa, Caleb Ernst, Joseph Mayes
F: Riley Wilson, Lachlan Sharp, Mason Wakefield
FOLL: Tim Hosking, James Schischka, Jake Moorhead
INTER: from Jake Hall, Marty Parsons, Mitch Hallinan, Baxter Slater, Boden Alexander, Thomas Bennett
2.20pm Saturday at Maryborough.
From - Anthony Tatchell, Coby Perry, Thomas Gardam, Aidan Medlyn, Lachie Mackie, Chris Freeman, Brayden Metters, Patrick Chard, Mitchell Mcclure, Ash Humphrey, Liam Latch, Lachie Butler, Jayden Hooper, Brady Neill, Patrick Van der pol, Ty Stewart, Sam Mackie, Lucas Hurse, Lachlan Hull, Jai Howell, Kyle Downs, Kya Lanfranchi.
From - Bradley Bernacki, Scott Walsh, Matthew Panuccio, Nicholas Doolan, Sebastien Bell-Bartels, Ethan Foreman, Liam Rodgers, Macklan Lord, Frank Schipano, Liam Spear, Sam Graham, Flynn Lakey, Luke Ellings, Ben Eales, Matthew Jinkins, Harry Manders, Harry Thomas, Matthew Merrett, Matt McDonald, Jake Normington, Rye Penny, James Fox.
2.20pm Saturday at Eaglehawk.
B: Dylan Hanley, Oscar Madden, Sam Thompson
HB: Brady Rowles, Jacob O'Brien, Fraser Verhey
C: Joel Mullen, Brody Brown, Charlie Langford
HF: Liam Marciano, Sam Dean, Lewin Davis
F: Corey Roberts, Shaun Knott, Kobe Lloyd
FOLL: Jack Lawton, Noah Wheeler, Billy Evans
INTER: Zane Carter, Jack Thompson, Aydan Hanley, Ben Thompson
B: Dylan Hird, Jack Merrin, Liam Duguid
HB: Liam Barrett, Zack Shelton, Jon Coe
C: Jake Thrum, Ryan Hartley, Hamish Morcom
HF: Tom Strauch, Braydon Vaz, Jarrod Fitzpatrick
F: Joel Brett, Jayden Burke, Alex Jenkyn
FOLL: Matt Compston, Jack Geary, Terry Reeves
INTER: Harrison Burke, Jack Stewart, Lachlan Humphrey, Liam Jacques
Kyneton 18.15 (123) def Castlemaine 7.6 (48)
Kangaroo Flat 16.19 (115) def Maryborough 6.8 (44)
Golden Square 15.13 (103) def South Bendigo 7.11 (53)
Gisborne 10.12 (72) def Sandhurst 6.10 (46)
Strathfieldsaye 12.13 (85) def Eaglehawk 10.12 (72)
Golden Square 21.25 (151) def Kangaroo Flat 6.6 (42)
Gisborne 24.12 (156) def Kyneton 10.7 (67)
Eaglehawk 19.8 (122) def South Bendigo 9.12 (66)
Castlemaine 21.10 (136) def Maryborough 12.14 (86)
Strathfieldsaye 16.12 (108) def Sandhurst 12.10 (82)
Gisborne 34.21 (225) def Castlemaine 0.2 (2)
Golden Square 36.19 (235) def Maryborough 2.5 (17)
Eaglehawk 21.11 (137) def Kangaroo Flat 12.16 (88)
Strathfieldsaye 18.14 (122) def Kyneton 11.11 (77)
South Bendigo 14.10 (94) def Sandhurst 12.14 (86)
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