Macleay Valley Rangers’ Chad Applegate has vowed to do everything he can to claim the Football Mid North Coast Premier League premiership for his “devastated” younger brother Sam, who will miss the contest due to suspension.
Sam joins Kurt Riordan and Brent Morn on the sidelines as the trio received two yellow cards in the finals series which results in an automatic one-game suspension.
Chad told the Argus he will head into the grand final against Wallis Lake determined to claim the title.
“I am pretty disappointed I won’t get to play a grand final alongside my brother and share that special moment with him,” Chad said.
“I am more motivated for sure, I want to win for him, he has been there all season and been really good for the team, he’s one of our leading goal scorers.”
Chad returned to the Rangers halfway through the season and has worked his way into first grade despite not playing football for four years.
The 25-year-old admits Sam, who is 17, was very upset when he learned he was unable to appeal the ban.
“He’s devastated and pretty shattered that he will miss the grand final but he will be there to support us,” Chad said.
“To miss out because of two yellow cards over three games is pretty harsh.
“It’s a shame he won’t be there but now everyone else has to step up and do it for him and the other players who are missing out.”
Despite losing Sam, Riordan and Morn to suspension and being without Ben Mitchell due to injury, Chad is still confident Macleay Valley will finish on top.
“I still believe we can win, we are lucky to have a lot of depth at the club and the people who come in as replacements will step up and do their jobs,” Chad said.
Chad and Sam, alongside Andrew Potter, combined to create a lethal combination in attack this season.
The grand final kicks off at 3pm at Harry Elliot Oval on Saturday.
Chad was a key player for the Rangers when they last tasted premiership success after defeating Wallis Lake in the 2013 grand final.
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