WARNERS Bay coach Marty Reiman had no hesitation in labelling in-form Newcastle City forward Pat Gillingham as one of his favourite players.
And if the Bulldogs are to contain the league’s leading goal kicker at Feighan Oval on Saturday, Reiman said it will require a team approach.
Young defender Lachy Deverell has been given the job of marking Gillingham, who has kicked 39 goals, but equally important will be disrupting the supply.
“I really like Patty and you can’t underestimate how good a player he is,” Reiman said. “If he is getting good supply, no matter how good you are, he will still kick goals. He just has that ability to win the footy. Match-up wise Lachy Deverell will go to him. It is up to our midfielders to put pressure on theirs so that the supply is coming in a bit more chaotic.”
At the other end, Reiman believes Jack Hardman and Jack Downing will cause problems for experienced City defenders Luke Rawnsley, Matt Enright and Ian Baker.
“The beauty of our forward line is that they share the load,” Reiman said. “They all work very hard for each other. Jack Downing has had a exceptional three weeks. Jack Hardman didn’t play the full game last week and chimed in with a couple of cheap ones at the end. It’s a massive assignment. City knocked off Cardiff last week. They are a good side and well coached.”
For City, ruckman Chris Jackson returns.
Elsewhere Saturday, Singleton will be out to strengthen their grip on fifth when they tackle neighbours Maitland at Max McMahon Oval.
With player-coach Andrew Scott leading the way, the Roosters hung on to beat Wyong-Lakes by four points last round.
Maitland faded in a the final term to go down to Gosford.
Gosford will be aiming to move a step closer to an unlikely finals berth when they travel to Lake Macquarie.
The Tigers, who many expected to struggle, have been surprise packets under new coach Josh Barty.
At Dick Burwell Oval, Cardiff will be keen to bounce back from a 24-point loss to City – their first of the season – against Nelson Bay.
In the final game, Killarney Vale host Wyong Lakes.
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