Rockbank is battling through its toughest period of the Riddell District Football League season.

The Rams, always expected to be one of the sides towards the bottom of the ladder, have faced three of the top sides in their past three matches and will take on sides that played finals last year in their next three matches.

Rams’ coach Leigh McInerney admits it has been tough.

“We’ve had a hard round of matches playing the likes of Rupertswood and Diggers Rest,” he said. “We have just decided to look towards the future and move players around, getting them more experience for next season.”

McInerney said the players have enjoyed being given the chance to play at different positions.

He highlighted wingman Braedon Billing, who spent time at full-back against Diggers Rest, as one player who had shown he could play different positions.

Not helping the Rams is having to make multiple changes to the side every week.

McInerney said they hadn’t had a stable side since their win against Broadford.

“After the Broadford game we had 10 guys out,” he said. “We would get three players back and then lose four players. For our next game we already have got four players out who are going away.

“It’s really testing our depth, but we’ve had a few players coming up.”

Jamie Austin, who has played the past three games, has been named the Rams best in two of them.

McInerney said Austin had worked hard in the pre-season to get his chance in the top side.

Christian Azzopardi and Daniel Wright are two others who have made the most of their opportunities.

McInerney said they would give a few younger boys an opportunity in the next few weeks.

The Rams had a bye at the weekend due to the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

McInerney said the break couldn’t have come at a better time and he was hopeful a couple of other players would return to the side for the match against Romsey.

In other matches this weekend, Melton Centrals host Macedon, Diggers Rest plays Wallan, Woodend-Hesket takes on Sunbury Kangaroos, Riddell faces Lancefield and Rupertswood takes on Broadford.