Comets, All Stars add spice
THE Comets match against an Indigenous All Stars selection will not be just a training run, promises selector/ coach David Doyle.
The match is set down for Browne Park on February 20 and comes in the middle of a fantastic three weeks of league action that starts with NRL club Melbourne Storm facing the Broncos, with the Comets and Mackay Cutters as a curtain-raiser, and closes with a Titans team taking on the Comets.
Doyle said all of the trademark characteristics of indigenous football would be there for all to see, with speed, flamboyant ball movement and bone-jarring tackles.
The nucleus of the Indigenous team was selected prior to the recent Reconciliation Carnival, but members of the selection panel, Greg Major, Justin Loomans, Leroy Wilson and Paul Oram were at Browne Park to check any further options they may have overlooked.
Unfortunately, the carnival also provided a few problems, with serious injuries to Wally and Greg Saunders, while Tristian Saunders’ display with Storm United was so impressive he made the Carnival team and also caught the interest of southern scouts.
Despite those losses, Doyle is convinced the All Stars will live up to their name.
“There is a bit of everything in the squad,” he forecast.
“We have a bit of strength, a bit of agility.
“Against the Comets we will be fast and physical.”
The coach also expects there will be some spice in the contest because some of the Indigenous squad have played in Comets colours but, for whatever reason, are no longer a part of the team’s immediate plans.
“There is a bit of pride to play for,” he admitted.
A glance down the All Stars team list gives an indication of the quality at their disposal.
Former Comets captain and playmaker Nat Bowman will be there as will the big man, Andrew Dale, and a host of players who have been in or on the fringes of Comets election.
Doyle said while he predicted a tough encounter, the Comets would hope for no less as they needed all the full-on matches they could get before the Queensland Cup began in March.
Comets’ mentor Wayne Barnett agrees it will be a hard match, but should be a real crowd-pleaser.
“They have some very good players who have played at a high level,” he said.
Barnett looks upon the game as an opportunity for opposition players, especially the young ones, to put up their hands for Comets selection.
While knowing how an indigenous team likes to play its football, Barnett said he would not prepare specifically to meet that challenge.
“If we adapted to each team we play we would never have our own game plan,” he said.
The Indigenous All Stars squad gets back to training tonight and Thursday with sessions at Rockhampton High School starting at 6.30pm.
- With the season fast approaching the Central Queensland Comets have been able to name another new signing for their 2010 Queensland Cup squad.
Young Canterbury Bulldog centre Josh Bishop arrived in Rockhampton yesterday to join the team.
Coach Barnett said the powerfully built player, who is 21 years old this month, would be a welcome addition as the Comets had been a bit light in that position.Trial squad
The Indigenous squad from which selection for the game against the Comets will be named:
Clint Rothery, George Jarrett, Malcolm Darkin, Jayden Vea Vea, Jarrod Johnson, Lionel Harbin, Russell Webber, Kelly Bowmaker, Daniel Pickering, Brodie McCellan, Nat Bowman, Chris Saunders, Yoren Major, Justin Miller, Andrew Dale (Capt), William Munns, Greg Major jnr, Ken Oakley, Matthew Jarvis, Cameron Oakley, Caleb Littleboy, Aaron Georgetown, James Munns, Jim Dochery, James Waterton, Paul Oram, Daniel Roberts, Paul Neil, Jarred Chinfat and Anthony Toby.