Sport

GVL football | round 17 | Mansfield v Kyabram preview

By Alex Mitchell

Kyabram begins the final six-week block of its Goulburn Valley League season in the high country tomorrow, where it will take on Mansfield looking for a 17th straight win.

Fresh from a bye, the undefeated Bombers face the Eagles and Seymour before kicking off a finals campaign where they are expected to secure a fifth consecutive trip to the grand final.

Two games and more than 100 per cent clear of Echuca, the Bombers are all but assured another minor premiership and are essentially preparing for their first final against the Murray Bombers, with plenty of faces still to return to the line-up.

Luke Morris, Nick Coulstock and Sam Sheldon are all expected to face the Eagles, while Josh Vick is also close to a return.

But the Bombers will need to tidy up their defence, particularly in the absence of veteran key position defender Jason Morgan, whose hamstring tear will keep him out for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, Mansfield won last time out against Shepparton United and will look to keep generating momentum it would ideally carry into next season.

Two games out of the top six and 16 per cent back, Eagles coach Andrew Browne is aware his side will likely not play finals and took the opportunity to experiment against the Demons, with Tyler Chisholm and Lachie Christopher impressing in midfield roles.

"(A) positive from the (Shepparton United game) was the emergence of some younger players in different roles. I thought Lachie Christopher and Tyler Chisholm’s games through the midfield were a promising sign of things to come," Browne told Mansfield website feature series Coaching Eagles.

"Our focus over the last few weeks is to ensure that we are constantly maintaining a positive spirit and not letting the results of games impact our attitude within games.

"We were successful in this regard (against United) and led the game at every break. We possibly could have won by more were it not for some inaccuracy in front of goal.

"(Kyabram) will be a challenging game; however, there is plenty of valuable learnings to be gained out of a competitive effort."

Kyabram took care of the Eagles by 72 at home in round six, with power couple Kyle Mueller and Kayne Pettifer carving them up with 12 goals between them.