BRING it on - was South Launceston coach Mitch Thorp's response yesterday to suggestions that Burnie will target him physically in tomorrow's State League grand final and try to rough up his inexperienced Bulldogs.
As the Bulldogs trained for the last time before the big game, Thorp said he was unfazed by the possibility of any grand final rough stuff after Burnie defender Nick McKenna was reported as saying that the Bulldogs coach would have a target on his back every time he went near the ball.
``If they do that then potentially they are not thinking about the game,'' Thorp said.
``I know a few of our guys enjoy that sort of thing so we're fully aware that anything can happen.
``Whether it's a physical contest or a hard-running contest - we've got both bases covered I reckon and can't wait for it.''
Thorp kicked 12 goals in his last two match-ups against McKenna, who is widely recognised as the best defender in the state and said he would welcome another contest against the Burnie hard man.
``Now Nick has said that I hope he does line up on me,'' Thorp said.
``I think that is a compliment - when people are saying that then they respect you as a player and when they are thinking of other ways to stop you as a player it's a good thing and I certainly enjoy the physical side of football and will be looking forward to that contest.
``It makes you play better - it's a physical and competitive game that we play and when the blood gets boiling I'm a really competitive guy.
``When people are knocking you around a bit you want to stand up and have a presence on the ground and as coach I think it is important that I do that.''
Thorp said his players were excited and could not wait for the game as they attempt to make State League history by winning their first TSL premiership and deny Burnie back-to-back flags.
``The message from me is to stay calm and after the first five minutes when the game settles down it will be a really good contest.''