Magpies player Matthew Lokan takes mark against the Hills Eagles at Manuka Oval. Photo: Richard Briggs
Shane Harris has been one of the few bright lights in a disappointing season for the Belconnen Magpies.
The small forward booted five goals in the Magpies' 26-point loss to the third-placed Sydney Hills Eagles, 12.16 (88) to 8.14 (62), at Manuka Oval yesterday. It was his third haul of five goals or more this year and it took his tally to 31.
Despite standing at just 165 centimetres tall, Harris is equal third highest goal kicker in the NEAFL eastern conference behind Sydney Swans forward Mitch Morton (47).
Belconnen coach Matthew Lokan brought the diminutive forward with him from SANFL club Port Adelaide this season.
Lokan said Harris was able to use his body to out-muscle opponents to great effect.
''He tends to get a lot of leads and he's pretty good one on one,'' he said.
''Against a small back pocket he can tend to expose them and use his body well. He's a pretty good mark over head.''
While the Magpies have just two wins this season and sit seventh on the ladder, Lokan said his young team was developing nicely and was pleased with the four-quarter effort against the Eagles. He was expecting continued improvement after the return of Josh Hegarty (ankle) and Andrew Dess (finger).
''We've got some really good form into guys like Josh Hegarty and Andrew Dess, that are just coming back from injury, and obviously John Love back in the team [from overseas] as well,'' Lokan said.
''We're hoping that the latter half of the season, if we can get a few games into a few players, that we can improve. Although we haven't been winning games, I've seen that our group's improved since the start of the season.''
Belconnen travels to Queensland next week to take on northern conference team Redland.