Group 20 under 23s coach Craig Morriss says Saturday’s Kelly Cup match against Group Nine will be a David versus Goliath battle but the players’ camaraderie will give them every chance.
The representative sides will clash at EW Moore Oval and Morriss said the players had each others’ backs heading into the big clash.
“I think it’s just commitment to each other,” Morriss said of Group 20’s strength.
“It’s a bit of a David and Goliath struggle. I think they [Group Nine] have about five country players in their team. It’s a fairly good side.
“They [Group 20] are in the right frame of mind, they’re training well and want to put their best foot forward.”
The players were chosen on form from previous years along with how they played at the Group 20 Knockout and for a Riverina representative team in a trial.
Morriss said there was a large number of players considered but in the end the selectors opted for a more experienced playing group.
“We picked who we thought was up to it. A lot of them played last year and there was quite a few blokes on the border but we went for the guys who were a bit older,” he said.
“There’s some good 19-year-olds coming through that probably need to have a year in first grade first.”
It’s a bit of a David and Goliath struggle.Craig Morriss
While Morriss said “a win would be great for the group”, he also said a win would be just as important for the players.
“With the under 23s, it’s just about giving them the best possibly chance to progress [to a higher level of football] and the best way to do that is win,” Morriss said.
“They want to win this as much as everyone else.
“We just have to make sure they all turn up and have their heads switched on.”
Group 20’s coaching staff whittled the initial 20-man squad down to 18 for the match with only 17 able to take the field.
Ben Vearing will be one player to miss the match due to a broken arm while Andrew Hoggart was named as an emergency.
The game has lead to the scheduled Saturday game between the Leeton Greens and Griffith Black and Whites be moved to Sunday.
2pm: Under 16s
3.20pm: Under 18s
4.50pm: League tag
6pm: Under 23s
UNDER 23S SQUAD
- Keanau Wighton
- Luke Hogan
- Quelem Kirkwood
- Shorne Ngu
- Moses Butukoro
- Kieran Cates
- Jarred Muller-Dobbe
- Jayke Stevenson
- Danny Maskill (c)
- Rhys Wilesmith
- Matt Kelly
- Tongia Fox
- Wille Lolohea
- Shaquille Jakeman
- Joshua Nikoro
- Todd Prest
- Gospel Toru
- Josh Fisher
Emergency: Andrew Hoggart