The Weekly Advertiser

Wimmera league keen for community championships campaign

Xander McRae out positions Jake Hart, Horsham Saints vs Stawell.

NEXT STEP: Horsham Saint Xander McRae will line up with the Big W in Wimmera Football League’s interleague clash with Bellarine on Saturday at Horsham City Oval. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Enthusiasm, on-field leadership and raw talent loom as the primary weapons in Wimmera Football League’s 2018 interleague clash in Horsham on Saturday.
The league, under the guidance of coach Shayne Breuer, has picked a team based on a combination of structure and player willingness to ‘have a crack’ at a higher level of the game.
The Big W takes on Bellarine at Horsham City Oval, with everything from individual player pride to the league’s reputation across the state on the line.
Thirty-two regional and metropolitan leagues are involved in the championships, where a consistent top-10 ranking is an ultimate goal. Bellarine sits 16th and Wimmera, 17th.
Breuer said the response from players and clubs to the campaign had been outstanding.
“We’ve had a really good response and probably 50 guys to choose from, which also makes it hard when picking a final squad,” he said.
“I’ve been absolutely rapt and impressed with the turn-out for training.
“We’ve been really spoilt with the guys who have put their hands up.”
Breuer said a selection process had been based on creating a balanced team where players felt comfortable in familiar positions.
“I’ve been focused on putting players together to make a good side, players who are keen to play, guys who want to come in and play good positive footy,” he said.
“We will do a little bit of research on our opponents but we won’t go over the top.”
Breuer also freely admitted to feeling more like an ‘organiser’ than coach, considering the amount of club coaches and team leaders making up the team.
“From my point of view I don’t really see myself as coach with so many fantastic footballers in the team,” he said.
“We have the likes of Ryan McKenzie, Coleman Schache, Deek Roberts, Damian Cameron and Luke Fisher, all coaches in their own right.
“It’s a really good list and I’m just here to give them all an opportunity.”
Warrack Eagles’ McKenzie is team captain and Alexander McRae, Horsham Saints, and John Wood, Horsham, are his deputies.
A line-up appears impressive with a goal-to-goal line likely to include resolute Horsham pair Rhona Conboy and Ben Lakin in defence and Sam White, Southern Mallee Giants, and Minyip-Murtoa’s Kieran Delahunty at the attacking spearhead.
Nhill’s Ben Jones will most likely headline rucking duties alongside McKenzie in the pivot and Stawell duo Tom Taurau and Cam Kimber are likely to be part of a busy on-ball rotation.
McRae will play a key role in defence, as will his Saints team-mate Jacob O’Beirne, while the Giants’ Sam Weddell and Minyip-Murtoa coach Damian Cameron provide defensive springboards.
Ararat’s Riley Taylor and Saint Sam Jasper will have midfield-dash duties and link with players such as the Giants’ Schache, Horsham revelation Ryan Kemp and Horsham’s Wood and Roberts.
The side appears to have considerable versatility with the likes of the Saints’ Fisher, Giants’ Josh Webster and others such as Adam Haslett, Ararat, Callum Hobbs and Warwick Stone, Minyip-Murtoa, Riley Morrow, Warrack Eagles and Sam Williams, Stawell, all potentially in Saturday’s mix.
Breuer said there remained little doubt that interleague fixtures continued to play an important role in community football and it was always important to try to win as a collective representative group.
“Everyone wants to play the best footy they can and this represents a chance for the league to display what footballers it has in the competition,” he said.
“For the league, winning promotes us across the state and helps in various ways.
“It is also the process of interleague that is very healthy. It’s about guys from across the league getting together and generating a regional camaraderie.”
The league’s final training run and jumper presentation will be at Horsham City Oval tomorrow night.
A Wimmera league exhibition match between leading under-17 players will be a curtain-raiser to the big game.
Likely Wimmera team
B: Xander McRae, Horsham Saints; Rhona Conboy, Horsham; Jacob O’Beirne, Horsham Saints.
HB: Damian Cameron, Minyip-Murtoa; Ben Lakin, Horsham; Sam Weddell, Southern Mallee Giants.
C: Sam Jasper, Horsham Saints; Ryan McKenzie, Warrack Eagles; Riley Taylor, Ararat.
HF: Coleman Schache, Southern Mallee Giants; Sam White, Southern Mallee Giants; Ryan Kemp, Horsham.
F: John Wood, Horsham; Kieran Delahunty, Minyip-Murtoa; Deek Roberts, Horsham.
Foll: Ben Jones, Nhill; Tom Taurau, Stawell; Cam Kimber, Stawell.
Inter: From, Callum Hobbs, Minyip-Murtoa; Warwick Stone, Minyip-Murtoa; Adam Haslett, Ararat; Luke Fisher, Horsham Saints; Josh Webster, Southern Mallee Giants; Riley Morrow, Warrack Eagles; Sam Williams, Stawell.

The entire May 16, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on May 16 2018

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