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The Djarrak Football Club Senior Mens team face a baptism of fire this weekend when they face Gopu Football Club at Yirrkala Oval on Saturday 20 at 4pm. The side will dig deep into its playing list to field a competitive side with a number of key outs hitting the Brown and Gold army as they look to navigate wins over all opposition teams to finish their 2017 Season phase one goals. Tim Blake (yet to play) has a six-week rehabilitation plan and Bernie Price will aim for Round 9 as his return to play date. Djamika Ganambarr, Arnold Marika and Lenny Maymuru are all unavailable.

Despite the injury toll mounting early in the season, Senior Coach Hayden Rickard preferred to find a positive angle when asked about losing so many key position players this soon. He said "Look, we know we have some handy personnel on the sidelines for the next month plus, but what that gives some of our young players is an opportunity to grow at senior level. We still have a number of leaders on the paddock. I expect Gopu to throw everything at us this round, so this is an ideal opportunity for some of our young brigade to stand up and show they're ready to handle a really pressure situation".

Cameron Stokes will return to the backline after playing a plus 1 role through the middle last week and the side will lean heavily on his big game experience. James and Gapirri Burarrwanga continue to gel down back and will shoulder more of the load to complement the spine in Dale Dhamarrandji and Winston Yunupingu. The forward zone will this week be tested and the improving Billy Wanambi and ever reliable Grant Maymuru will be charged with addressing the 40% completion rate in shots on goal that hurt the side in last weeks narrow win. Raven, DJ and Murray Marika will roam the midfield.

Inclusions Brendan (Marika) Dhamarrandji and returning Djayminy Marika will provide threats forward and add experience in the crunch encounter. Justin Gondarra and Denzel Marika debut.

Players to assemble at Yirrkala Oval at 2:50pm Saturday.

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