Wide Bay AFL's best unite to take down Darling Downs
THEY'RE used to lining up against each other week in week out, but today the Wide Bay's best AFL players will unite to take on Darling Downs.
It's been three years since a senior team represented the Wide Bay and captain Jim Power said the players are looking forward to the challenge.
"It's pretty exciting to be able to get a game, Wide Bay versus Darling Downs this weekend down at Kingaroy. (It) hasn't happened for a few years so all the boys are pretty excited about going down for a run," he said.
"With the side we have - with the best in the Wide Bay - we're pretty confident going down into the game that we'll have a good showing.
"Obviously Darling Downs, we don't know too much about them, but they've got a good competition down there and I think if we all play really well on the day there's a good chance we can come away with the victory."
Power said it was important the players combine as a team and assert themselves early, but he's confident the quality of players can take it to Darling Downs.
"If in the first quarter we start to understand how each other play, after the last few weeks of training, that will put us in good stead for the game," he said.
"From Across The Waves we've got Michael Blair, Patty Power, Jai Trotter and Jason Bethune, who have all been really good for us this year.
"Another really strong player down at Hervey Bay, Cam Baker, will give us a good bit of defence.
"A couple of young fellas, Damon Oakley and Brad Williams, they'll be a good inclusion and Tim Krohn from Bay Power, so we do have a strong list.
"It's been a good chance to get to know a couple of the boys apart from playing against them all the time. We all love footy so it hasn't been too bad at all."
Power said this game would hopefully open the door for more representative games, which would only benefit the local competition.
"Even just going to training it's already been a step up. Being able to take that back and take the experience back into club level will definitely be something the playing will look forward to using in the next part of the year," he said.
Wide Bay coach Shaun Stone said everyone was looking forward to playing representative football.
"It's been a couple of years now and the players have been the ones who have put the hard work in, turning up to training," he said.
"Mark Mason and Dean Pettis have put the hard yards in over the last 12 months to make this happen and hopefully we can replay those guys.
"The benefits are that they get to play better opposition, stronger opposition and to play with guys they play week in week out against and they get to come together, which is your best of the best in this league, and I'm looking forward to seeing if they can gel."
With little information on Darling Downs, Stone said, the side would focus on their own game and adjust in the first 20 minutes as needed.
"They'll be a strong side, but I don't think we can worry about them too much until we see who their key players are," he said.
- ATW: James Power (c), Patrick Power, Jai Trotter, Jason Bethune, Michael Blair, Jayden Enever, Ronald Blair, Liam Price
- Bulldogs: Michael Lovett, Dylan Keam, Jefferson Baulch, Jayson Smith, Joel Perry-Warren, Miels Grice
- Bay Power: Josh Crowder (vc), Damon Oakley, Bradley Williams, Shane Dryden, Tim Krohn
- Bombers: Cameron Baker, Dylan Ward, Brent Firth-Meldrum, Tim Dwyer
- Maryborough: Stuart Buckley, Rhys Smith