GVL senior interleague preview

By Tyler Maher

Senior coach Brad Campbell has put together a strong Goulburn Valley League interleague side to take on the Western Region Football League tomorrow.

The AFL Victoria Community Championships clash at Werribee’s Avalon Airport Oval will pit the fifth (GV) and sixth (Western Region) ranked teams in the interleague system against each other, making for what should be a hotly contested fixture.

Looking across the GV team, there is top notch talent on every line, but none more so than the midfield.

With Seymour’s Zac Keogh and Jason Cole, who will captain the side once more, Mansfield’s Brett Mahoney, Tatura’s Jamason Daniels and Kyabram’s Mick Mattingly named to start in ball-winning positions and the likes of Nick Fothergill, Matt Shannon (Tatura), Nathan Marrone (Rochester) and Tom Preece (Shepparton Swans) also spread across the field, it will be hard for the Western Region to snatch the football from the visitors once they get their hands on it.

‘‘I think that’s one thing we’ll look to really use is our midfield,’’ Campbell said.

‘‘We’ve got a good sprinkling of midfielders and they’re all fairly adaptable, they can win the hard footy and they’re equally as good on the outside.

‘‘I think you need to bat pretty deep and we’ve got six to eight (players) that can go through there.

‘‘I think interleague footy is all about showcasing what guys can do, match-ups will be important, but we’ll just need to back ourselves as much as we can.’’

With a forward line of Angus Byrne (Echuca), Harry Boyd (Shepparton), Fothergill, Kyle Mueller (Kyabram), Nick Warnock (Benalla) and Kayne Pettifer (Kyabram) the GVL will not be short of attacking options, while the likes of Shepparton duo Ted Lindon and Mitch Brett, Kyabram pairing Tom Holman and Lachie Smith, Tatura’s Brad Ryan and Mansfield’s Patty Marks will look to shore up the squad’s defensive end.

‘‘It was just a matter of trying to come up with the right mix (and) we’re quite happy with the squad we’ve ended up with,’’ Campbell said.

‘‘I think any interleague game is going to be tough, particularly against the Western Region footy league.

‘‘They’re going to be physical and hard at it on their home turf, and it’s probably a three or four-goal advantage when you play on the opposition’s home ground.

‘‘We’re looking forward to it, we’re really excited by the opportunities that we’ve got, a lot of our group are pretty young and I think we’ve got 13 or 14 first game interleague representatives, which is exciting on its own.

‘‘We’ve got a good mix of youth and experience and we’re looking forward to it and I’m confident we’ll perform fairly well.’’