Thistles in bid to weed out Blues

Perth's Todd Cooper tries to get a handball away under pressure from Meander Valley's Kayln Eady in last week's clash. Picture: MARK JESSER.
Perth's Todd Cooper tries to get a handball away under pressure from Meander Valley's Kayln Eady in last week's clash. Picture: MARK JESSER.

ONE of the competition's big recruiters versus the reigning premier sets up a fascinating NTFA division 2 clash at Invermay Park between Old Launcestonians and Old Scotch.

It will be their first hit-out of the season after byes last week with both clubs having recruited strongly in the preseason.

OLs coach Brian Finch said it was a massive test for his side, which would need a few weeks to gel with new players joining the club.

"To meet the reigning premiers and probably the hot favourites for the flag first up is going to be tough," he said.

"But we're keen to get out there and get the season going."

The Blues should be close to full strength and Finch said playing the benchmark of the competition would be a good indicator for the club.

Old Scotch coach Kim Curtis said his players were looking forward to the clash and expected to have everyone available.

"They've recruited heavily with a new coach and will be keen to get a win on the board to start off the year and we are too," Curtis said.

"We're not real good starters and have lost the first round the past couple of seasons so we want to rectify that this year and we're ready to go."

Curtis said the Thistles would have to pay some attention to OLs' big-name recruits such as former State League players Adam Derbyshire, Sam O'Keefe and Gene Savage.

MEANDER Valley hosts the Tamar Cats and is looking to build on last week's good form in beating Perth.

Coach Josh Bennett was happy with that performance but predicted a closer contest this week which would come down to a battle of the midfields.

The Cats kick off their season after a bye and coach Kent Wright said his players were keen to get started and looking forward to the contest.

Wright said they wouldn't take the Suns lightly and were hoping to start the season off on a winning note.

EVANDALE will be looking for its first win after going down to St Pat's last week, when it takes on traditional rival Perth at Morven Park.

Coach James Conroy said there were positives to take out of that game but also areas to work on, especially the players' consistency over four quarters.

Conroy was hopeful of putting together some good footy and claiming the four points which he said would mean a lot to the club given the rivalry.

Perth went down in its season- opener last week and coach Simon Gibson said it would take time for his team to adapt to a new game plan and structure.

Gibson rated its chances of a win as high, with a few players coming back this week, including Scott Furley and Paul Bassett.

LILYDALE coach Kade Dwyer wanted a competitive performance first-up by his young Demons side with 18 players aged under 25, against St Pat's.

The Demons will be at full- strength and Dwyer said it would be good to make a successful start with the home ground advantage.

While happy with his side's win last week, St Pat's coach Jacob Lowe was not impressed by a slow start and final quarter fade out.

Lowe said the Saints still had several players unavailable but expected Jason Moore to come into the side.

PROSPECT traditionally has close tussles against Uni- Mowbray and coach Danny Hall expected another tight contest at Prospect Park tomorrow.

The Hawks have a full list with Hall confident of a victory.

Uni-Mowbray pushed Fingal all the way last week in a performance that impressed coach Nathan Lowe, especially with their hardness and intensity at the ball.

Josh Oliver and Rohan Willis are out but Hayden Fox, Matthew Murfett and Brad Williams should come in.


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