Carnival team has a pulse
The Great Southern Football League will field a team in division 3 of the Landmark Country Football Championships in Perth tomorrow after an emergency meeting on Monday night decided their fate.
Originally set down for their jumper presentations, Monday night’s gathering quickly became a serious discussion when coach Craig Dew announced that with only 19 players available for Friday’s opening two games a team withdrawal was likely.
GSFL directors and carnival organisers remained in discussion for more than an hour while players tried to rally additional members to join them at the annual carnival.
Eventually a resolution was reached after extra players were confirmed and the GSFL will compete in this year’s championships — albeit quite under-prepared.
A squad of 30 players have been named for the senior team, three of which are colts players only available once the Great Southern Storm’s campaign is done.
Injury clouds surround two players and an additional three players are not able to play the full three days of the senior campaign.
The GSFL begin their title quest against Regional Allstars and North Midlands Football League tomorrow before tackling Central Wheatbelt Football League on Saturday.
The top two ranked teams in division 3, which has four competing teams, will reach Sunday’s grand final at Claremont Oval.
Last year the GSFL fell short of winning the division 3 grand final and promotion to division 2, when they lost to Eastern Districts by 28 points in the decider.
Despite the interrupted build-up GSFL head coach Craig Dew is optimistic his squad are capable of going one better this year.
“Our best 22 is really good and we beat these teams last year,” Dew said. “Going up there I’m expecting we should win.
“Regional Allstars should be the team to beat and we have them first-up on Friday so that will give us a good indication of where we are at.
“Apart from wanting to win the weekend is about trying to show the players how this carnival is a really good weekend where you go away with other guys from other teams, foster relationships and enjoy it socially, and then go back and pass on to others that maybe they need to be a part of this.”
Angus McKercher and Brayden Parker are the two players with injury concerns while the big omission is former WAFL player Mitch Green who suffered a hamstring injury on Saturday.
Key trio Jordan Heil, Daniel Henderson and Shayne Zanetti are unavailable through pre-booked holidays. Craig Frost, Hamish Bigwood and Rick Wallis are named in the squad but unavailable at some stage while colts Hamish McMorran, Alex Pearce and Kieran Gowdie may play on Saturday if the Storm don’t reach the finals.
Dew announced veteran carnival players Graham Ross and Ryan Kinnear as co-captains of the team.
GSFL Senior Team
1. Jesse Wynne (Mt Barker), 2. Craig Frost (Railways), 3. Ryan Kinnear (Royals), 4. Braden Murphy (Royals), 5. Kane Shephard (Railways), 6. Joel Want (Railways), 7. John Lee (Mt Barker), 8. Nathan Crudeli (North Albany), 9. Brock Tiede (Albany), 10. Ryan Gaerth (Denmark-Walpole), 11. Jack Steel (Railways), 12. Hamish Fuller (Albany), 13. Stuart Parker (North Albany), 14. Alec Haskins (Denmark-Walpole), 15. David Stone (Mt Barker), 16. Hamish Bigwood (North Albany), 17. Alex Pearce (North Albany), 18. Hendrix Ropiha (Denmark-Walpole), 20. Graham Ross (North Albany), 21. Angus McKercher (North Albany), 22. Hamish McMorran (Royals), 23. Jake Becroft (North Albany), 24. Harrison Lill (Denmark-Walpole), 25. Luke Hutcheson (Denmark-Walpole), 26. Rick Wallis (Albany), 27. Jyrin Woods (North Albany), 28. Stephen Beal (Royals), 30. Dionne Woods (Mt Barker), 31. Ashley Smith (Denmark-Walpole), 35. Kieran Gowdie (Albany).
Friday @ Bassendean Oval
GSFL v Regional Allstars – 1.10pm
GSFL v North Midlands – 3.40pm
Saturday @ David Grays Arena
GSFL v Central Wheatbelt – 1.20pm
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