The Bendigo Pioneers return to NAB League action this weekend with a new-look side.
A mix of VFL duties, representative footy and injuries forced the Pioneers into a plethora of changes for Sunday's clash with the Calder Cannons in Swan Hill.
"Barnett, Dow, Long, Faulkhead, Gilbee, Stevens, Kiraly, Gallagher, Denahy, Barnes and Kelly are out of the side,'' Pioneers' coach Danny O'Bree said.
"It's not ideal, but it gives some younger players the opportunity at this level."
The Pioneers will unveil four first-gamers against the Cannons - Donald's Will Burke, Ouyen's Sam O'Shannessy and Joel Grace and Echuca United's Ollie Poole.
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Will Burke is the son of former South Bendigo key forward James Burke, while Sam O'Shannessy is the son of former Eaglehawk key defender Danny O'Shannessy.
"It's a great opportunity for us to get up to the Swan Hill area of our region and play a game in front of people that may not have seen a NAB League game before,'' O'Bree said.
"Three of our four debutantes are from within an hour of Swan Hill and we've brought back our Mildura-based players, which gives them a great chance to play against a really strong metro team.
"Calder is coming off a really good win against the Northern Knights and I think they have four players that are above 200cm compared to our one. It should be a really good standard of footy and it's a great chance for our region to see how our kids stand up to that level."
O'Bree said the Pioneers' squad welcomed the opportunity to drop back to community footy over the past three weeks.
"We had some players perform really strongly at senior level across the region, which was really pleasing,'' he said.
"It's good to see the kids can give back to their community clubs in a positive way."
Pioneers' team to play Calder in Swan Hill:
B: C. Anderson, J. Nihill, W. Burke. Hb: S. McKay, J. Brereton, S. Deola. C: J. Goss, B. Cameron, J. Grace. Hf: H. Reid, E. Pearce, H. Hamilton. F: R. Murphy, M. Gordon, P. Kelly. Foll: J. Worme, N. Moore, P. Kuma. Inter: J. Mezzatesta, L. Wright, T. Stevens, S. O'Shannessy, O.Poole.
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