By Nick Creely
AFL Outer East has today announced its final squad ahead of Saturday’s interleague clash with the Bendigo Football Netball League.
With the new league set to come together as one for the first time on the road to Queen Elizabeth Oval (QEO) on the weekend, excitement is building ahead of Thursday night’s jumper presentation.
With the unique dimensions of QEO set to test the Outer East, interleague senior football coach Nick Rutley warned that his squad has what it takes to play a brand of football that will stack up.
“There’s a lot of us that have had experience at QEO, whether it’s playing or coaching there, I’ve done both – our assistant coaches, guys that have played VFL or TAC Cup footy have played there,” he said.
“It’s a different footy ground, it’s very narrow – it’s not your normal sized ground in terms of shape, so we’ll be looking to do what I assume Bendigo will do, and that’s play fast footy, and defensively we’ve got a good balance of inside and outside players, so we’ve got a good range of players.
“We’ll look to play fast, we won’t have a gorilla type forward – we’ll be more ground ball with the likes of (Ryan) Jones, (Harry) Money, (Jake) Roe-Duggan, Kirk Dickson, Lachie Taylor, Matty Clarke, the more hybrid type players.
“On the day and when you’re coaching, and in the moment you need to make some moves, or there’s an injury, you’ve got room to move with those types of players.”
Rutley also heaped praise on his band of assistant coaches, Matt Adolf, Michael McGrath, Steve O’Brien and Chris Goodlett, saying they’ve done tremendous work in getting the squad into a great position for a positive result.
“Those guys have been absolutely brilliant,” he said.
“They’ve been so supportive, and have brought different dynamics to coaching and ideas.”
Cranbourne’s Brandon Osborne and Olinda Ferny Creek’s Marcus Hottes will captain the senior side, while Narre Warren’s Ryan Koo Kwet Kim will captain the Under 18s.
The Under 18s kick off the day at 12:00pm, before the seniors take to the field against Bendigo at 2.15pm.
Pending VFL selections, this how the two football squads will look:
Beaconsfield – Riley Verbi, Jack Griffiths, Ryan Bromley
Berwick – Trent Thomas, Tim Gunn, Joseph West, Will Arthurson, Harry Money, Ash Smith
Cranbourne – Kirk Dickson, Ryan Jones, Dillan Bass, Glenn Osborne, Brandon Osborne (capt), Anthony Vella, Corey Ellison, Michael Wenn, Luke Bee-Hugo
Doveton – Lachie Batten
Healesville – Jake Roe-Duggan
Narre Warren – Ryan Quirk
Officer – Matthew Clarke
Olinda Ferny Creek – Marcus Hottes (capt), Lachlan Taylor
Wandin – Patrick Hodgett, Patrick Bruzzese
Woori Yallock – Hayden Smith, Zach Monkhorst
Under 18 Football
Beaconsfield – Matthew Wilson, William Hamilton
Berwick – Thomas Gambetta, Riley Hollis, Max McGreal, Jacob Keysers, Antonia Quach,
Berwick Springs – Riley Hillman
Cranbourne – Luca Bellinvia
Doveton – Danny Aiezza, Harley Fairbank
Emerald – Rogan Goonan
Gembrook Cockatoo – Frankie Trott, Aaron Firrito
Monbulk – Kai Linde
Mount Evelyn – Jack Farrugia
Narre Warren – Matthew Butera, Ryan Koo Kwet Kim (capt)
Olinda Ferny Creek – Patrick Seymour
Pakenham – Zac Smith
Woori Yallock – Tennyson Amarant