KEY RETURNS: Injury-hit Hawks on the mend

Apollo Bay utility Josh Onderwater, pictured, could be one of four Hawks to return from injury against Otway Districts this Saturday.

Apollo Bay utility Josh Onderwater, pictured, could be one of four Hawks to return from injury against Otway Districts this Saturday.

APOLLO BAY football officials are hopeful of getting at least four players back from injury for this weekend’s clash against Otway Districts.

Hawks co-coach Craig Rippon said the club had “another six players” out of its side in Saturday’s win against the Western Eagles, before utility Liam Harrington joined the list with a serious knee injury.

But Rippon said he was hopeful at least four players on the Hawks’ injury list would be fit to return this weekend.

Former interleague ruckman Karl McSparron is yet to play a game this year after tearing a quad muscle in the pre-season, young tall Jake Cooper suffered a bruised rib a fortnight ago against Colac Imperials, in the same game that defender Josh Onderwater injured an ankle.

Young gun Dustin Walters was also a late withdrawal from Saturday’s senior team after suffering an infection, but all four players are chances to return this weekend.

“Dustin got bitten by something during Thursday night training and it got infected so he had to pull out,” Rippon said.

“But by Saturday it had come good and he played in the juniors and was best-on-ground by a mile so he’s likely to come back in,” he said.

“Hopefully we’ll get Karl McSparron and Jake Cooper back this weekend, and Josh Onderwater will probably play, we’ve really missed his hardness down back.”

The Hawks endured back-to-back losses by less than a goal before Saturday’s breakthrough win against the Western Eagles.

Rippon said he was confident the Bay could turn those narrow losses into wins with a full-strength team on the park.

“We’ve just got to get guys back on the track and get games into them,” he said.

“We seem to get three back but then lose three, it’s quite frustrating but that’s football unfortunately.”

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