Leaders tasked with Kangas’ selection call

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
North Albany's Nick Barrow gets his kick away as Railways' Hayden Smart moves in.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Nick Barrow gets his kick away as Railways' Hayden Smart moves in. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

North Albany’s tough decision of leaving four players out of their grand final team will be resolved by the club’s leadership group, who will wait until Sunday morning to decide their final 22.

The Kangas are set to recall key quartet Luke Cameron, Nic Barrow, Taj Williams and Beau Rogers for the GSFL grand final against Railways after missing their side’s preliminary final win over Mt Barker.

Kangas coach Craig Dew said it would not be the first time the team’s leadership group had decided on their final 22 for grand final day, having been through the voting process in the past two seasons.

The defending premiers will name 24 players tomorrow night and wait until Sunday morning to decide the make-up of their grand final side with co-captain Cameron (hamstring) set to prove his fitness tomorrow.

“Clearly, they are four first-choice players, that when they are fit they are in our best 18 let alone our best 22, so they have to come back in and those guys know that ... people think from the outside I select the team but nothing could be further from the truth,” Dew said yesterday.

Dew hosed down suggestions his side struggled in wet conditions, pointing to their inability to take their chances in the second semifinal as the reason behind their loss to the Tigers.

He said the Tigers “second-tier” players would get more attention this time around.

“We are not going to reinvent the wheel because we lost the second semifinal,” he said. “We think our game plan stands up and we think we are good enough to win.

“Our ball use and the ability to switch and run and carry is not as good in wet conditions, everybody understands that and understands the way we play, so a dry day will it help us? Absolutely it will help us.”

Railways player-coach Craig Frost said key forward Zak Hortin would almost certainly return to the Tigers’ line-up, meaning one player would need to be omitted.

He said his group was fresh, confident and keen to end the Kangas’ premiership streak in front of their vocal Tigerland crowd.

“They are looking to go five in a row, they know how to play finals and win the big ones, so it’s going to be which team settles best on the day,” Frost said.

“You get a little bit nervous but we will do what we have been doing all year, stick to our structures and look to the older blokes to keep everyone calm and settled.”

Frost believed his club’s lack of grand final experience with only eight players remaining from their 2015 loss to the Kangas would not be a factor and said there was no preference on wet or dry conditions.

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