Manunda fired up for Saints challenge
They may only be a mathematical chance of making the finals, but Manunda Hawks' flock of fledgling youngsters are primed to take flight against Cairns Saints this weekend.
Coach Brad Sinclair said he would be putting his faith in ruckman Cam Duffy and midfielders Gavin Miller and William Aisi to guide the young Hawks tomorrow.
"We've spent a lot of time this week on our midfield to make sure we win the most stoppages, so they're not getting easy ball inside to those big forwards," Sinclair said. "Saints have won about the last seven of 10 premierships, so they know their way around."
Sinclair said he was wary of Saints attacking trio Jesse Dixon, Matthew Walsh and player-coach Nick Braybon.
"They're three strong bodies that will take on our three best defenders who are kids," he said.
"Because we've got kids, of your 22 players, you could have 10 to 12 who are down on the day, purely because they haven't had enough footy.
"But if they're playing on the up, we're a bloody good side, but they've all got to be like that on the day."
Sinclair said he had no choice but to rely on his youngsters to fill holes in the injury-hit side, after season-ending knee injuries to regular midfielders Ryan Flint and Matt Smart.
"Anyone can grab that fourth spot if the other team gets injuries of falls over, but we never thought that at the start of the year that that was a priority for us," he said.
"It's been about developing our players and making them better footballers."
Cairns Saints coach Nick Braybon was not available.