Hanwood to tackle cup without key men

Football

HANWOOD FC is set to rest some big names for this weekend's Real Juice Cup knockout in Yoogali.

Experienced utility Joey Schirripa and stopper Daniel Johnson are not likely to be risked for the two-day tournament, according to captain-coach Anthony Agresta.

The players are carrying minor injuries and Agresta believes the "stop-start" nature of the competition, which sees Hanwood play three 40-minute games tomorrow and two more on Sunday.

"It's too stop-start and when you've got a little niggle like that, it's probably not good for it," he said.

"There's a couple there I'm not sure about yet so we'll probably go with what we've got."

Hanwood has been drawn with hosts Yoogali FC and the Yenda Tigers in Pool A, alongside a fourth team that will be made up of either local reserve-grade players or a second YFC outfit.

Agresta said the Real Juice Cup was a good opportunity to see where other sides are at in their preparations for the new GDFA season, which begins on April 5.

"I'll have a little bit of a look," he said. 

"You can't read a great deal into it because probably not everyne will be playing - I'm sure there will be other teams that don't have their full squads like us. 

"But it's a good chance to see what everyone's up to."

HFC is expected to lean heavily on speed in the final third, with the likes of pacy winger Kyle Greaves and new forward Matt Fearon key if the club is to improve on last year's defeat to Yoogali SC in the final of the Real Juice Cup.

Agresta said the nine-a-side structure will mean plenty of chances in attack for his strikeforce - and plenty of tests at the back for his defenders.

"You probably get not so much more time on the ball, but a lot more opportunity to play," he said.

"There's a lot more open spaces and that opens it up more for the quicker guys.

"That'll be good for the guys. But the main thing is to get through the weekend injury-free.

"The last couple weeks we've had lower numbers - I think a lot of people are finishing off vintage and stuff like that. 

"But the guys who are there are putting in and doing well. 

"Generally, I'm pretty happy with how we're looking."

"New import goalkeeper Adam Reid will likely be given his first run for Hanwood throughout the knockout, as he contends for the No.1 jersey with former YFC shotstopper Glenn Armanini.

"He's settling in alright. He's starting to get to know everyone, so we'll see how he goes," Agresta said.

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