COLAC Tigers will be without reliable defender Alex Adams for the Geelong Football League season.
Coach Matt Gibson confirmed Adams would head to England for the season, leaving a giant hole at the centre of the Tigers’ backline.
Adams joins teammates Jake McGuane, Josh Black, Sam Cardinal and Nic Fisher as players who will miss part or all of the campaign.
Gibson said he was disappointed to lose Adams, particularly given the recruiting gains Colac had made reinforcing the list which finished fifth last season.
He said Paul Presani and Reece Karacsay, who both played in the Tigers’ under-18 flag in 2012, were options to replace Adams at centre half back.
“It is early days but you could throw a few guys in there. Kane Leersen could end up playing there as a smaller-type player,” Gibson said.
“You could give it to Paul Presani, who has played a lot of backline footy and played there in our under-18 premiership side,” he said.
“He’s one guy I’m earmarking a bit for a backline role. They had a tall side last year, the 18s, so he predominately played in defence.”
“Reece is another kid, maybe not centre half back but around that half-back line.”
Gibson said the Tigers would miss Adams’ versatility, work rate and competitiveness.
“He always gives his best effort, no matter what. All the guys respect him and like him. It’ll leave a reasonable hole,” he said.
“I’m excited by those younger kids or one of the other guys filling that role.”
Gibson said the loss of the young veteran hadn’t lowered an expectation to make finals.
“There are certain years where you think you’re not far off and only need to add to it.
“But this year we’ll give a few kids certain opportunities. They’ve got enthusiasm, they have no preconceived ideas, they just attack the footy.
“Everyone is aiming to win a premiership, there are no worries about that.
“It’s just a slightly different attack this year with me in regards to the way we coach the younger ones and get some good footy into them as much as we can and see where it takes us.”