A host of injuries and unavailable players paved the way for two young Alvie footballers to make their senior debuts in the Swans’ hard-fought win against the Western Eagles.
Alvie coach Dan Casey said his team had eight changes for Saturday’s 11.17 (83) to 4.5 (29) win against the Eagles, with 15-year-old Jake Miraglia and reserves footballer Chris Gorwell playing their first senior games, while Chris Hickey returned to the seniors for the first time since 2014.
Teenage spearhead Cullan Spence also played his first senior game of the year.
“In the end we had about eight changes from the week before, so it was good to come away with the win,” Casey said.
“All the first-gamers played well; Jake was in our best players which is pretty impressive for a 15-year-old, he wasn’t overawed, he used the footy well, and he’ll get better each week,” he said.
Among Alvie’s outs were key forward Josh Goonan, tight hamstring, defender Luke McCarthy, who injured a knee at training, forward Tom Spence, unavailable, and utility Andrich De La Cruz, illness, while Jack Ruddell and Sam Mahoney played in the under-17.5 team to qualify for junior finals.
Casey said key defender David O’Sullivan appeared set for a stint on the sidelines after straining a hamstring in Saturday’s win.
“It sounded pretty bad, he said that it popped so it could be a six-to-seven-week injury,” he said.
“Which is a shame because he’d been in pretty good form.”
Casey said the Eagles made his team work for its eighth win of the season, trailing by just two points at half time before the Swans kicked into gear.
Alvie, led by ruckman Mark Riley and defender Andre DeLorenzo, booted the final seven goals to run away with the match.
“I think we came off that good win against Irrewarra-Beeac last week and thought this win was just going to happen,” Casey said.
“But we responded really well in the second half,” he said.
For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.