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Laidley too busy to worry about future

05/06/2009 05:40:40 PM Comments (0)

Rather than worrying about his AFL coaching future, Dean Laidley had two more immediate issues on Friday.

As news broke about the formation of a sub-committee at the club to consider Laidley's future beyond this season, he was preparing his young team to take on unbeaten St Kilda.

He was also trying to cope with half a dozen players being in doubt for Saturday's match at Etihad Stadium because of illness.

Those sick players are being kept away from their teammates after they came down with a stomach bug.

"I've probably got bigger problems right now, trying to find a fit 22," Laidley said when asked about his coaching future.

"We've probably got six or seven guys who have come down with a strong bout of gastro ... in the last 48 hours.

"A few of them won't train today."

The Saints will start strong favourites against the Kangaroos, who lack nothing for effort.

But they turned the ball over too often in their loss to Brisbane last weekend, prompting Laidley to prepare a video of their handball errors.

"We showed the guys that video after the game and most of them were our `babies'," he said.

Geelong, the league's other unbeaten side, thrashed North in round eight and the issue for the Roos is whether they can be more competitive against the Saints.

"They're certainly the benchmark with the Cats, they've played some great footy, they're going very well," Laidley said of St Kilda.

"It's going to be a good challenge for our experienced players, but also our youngsters, because they (the Saints) are mature men."

Provided they can solve their gastro worries, North have strengthened their line-up with the returns of Daniel Pratt, Matt Campbell, Nathan Grima and Sam Power.

But the Saints simply look too strong, even though they have lost ruckman Michael Gardiner through suspension.

Young ruckman Ben McEvoy comes into the side along with defender Max Hudghton, who will play his first senior game this year after a pre-season calf muscle injury.

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