Originally written by MICHAEL HOWARD
IMPERIALS has suffered a further injury blow, despite the Bulldogs not competing at the weekend.
According to coach Wayne Aitken, rover Andrew Behncke has broken his leg while playing with Caramut against Hawkesdale-Macarthur on Saturday.
It is understood the Bulldog obtained a clearance from Imperials to play one game with the Swans during the interleague break and would then be cleared back to the Bulldogs after the clash with the Eagles.
However, the exercise went horribly wrong, with Behncke breaking his leg in the Mininera clash, an injury that it is expected to have brought his season to a premature end.
“It all backfired,” Aitken said. “He hadn’t been getting a lot of footy lately, so it was an opportunity for him to get a bit of footy while everyone has a rest.
“It wouldn’t have been that big an issue, but unfortunately he broke his leg.
“When it backfires it is obviously not worth it. There is no right or wrong, just a bit of bad luck.”
Aitken, who is a former coach of Caramut, said Behncke’s absence would further sting the Bulldogs, who have been plagued by injuries to date contributing to their modest 1-5 record.
“He’s going to be missed. He brings a lot of energy and enjoyment to the club and the way we are travelling we can’t afford to lose anyone.”
However, it is not all bad news with promise just around the corner.
Ruckman Rod Uebergang (strained hamstring) is tipped to play against Casterton on Saturday, while Brett Meredith returns after a lengthy absence.
Additionally, Josh Dore (shoulder) and Jason McIntosh (ankle) are expected to be in the mix.
Aitken also predicted that “one or two kids will be given opportunities”, as Imperials attempts to burst from the interleague break with restored confidence.
“We are looking to start fresh,” he said. “There will be a few changes.
“We have persevered with certain players, but we have got to move on and keep finding and challenging people that want to play senior football.
“It is essential for us to regroup and start again.”