Bombers' trio up for challenge

NORTH Launceston coach Zane Littlejohn believes the three Bombers in the Tasmanian team to face the NEAFL on Saturday will not be overawed by their representative football experience.

Littlejohn, who is also an assistant for state match day coach Brett Geappen, said yesterday he believed  his skipper Mitch Van den Berg, Taylor Whitford and Andrew Cox-Goodyer would be comfortable on the representative stage.

Bomber Andrew Cox-Goodyer lays a tackle. His form has secured a spot in the state squad.

Bomber Andrew Cox-Goodyer lays a tackle. His form has secured a spot in the state squad.

``It will be a good challenge for Mitchell, as he'll have to play on a quality defender, and he will have other good players around him, which will be  good for him. Taylor Whitford has played in the SANFL before, and that is a high quality competition.''

However, Littlejohn reserved the highest praise for former NTFA player Cox-Goodyer, who has been named in a back pocket.

``He loves the contest and the competitive side of football and I think what Tassie football really represents, he represents himself in his own brand of footy.

``He was the first player from our squad to come to my mind when I was called up about  it, just because of  his fighting spirit. He loves the contest and won't ever shirk one.''

The club had just one player in the team last year, which defeated the NEAFL Eastern Conference side, but has been rewarded for its 7-3 start to 2014.

Littlejohn said the squad, which was cut to 23 after Tuesday night's training session at Aurora Stadium, was ``well balanced''.

``As a coaching group we realise there is a great challenge ahead of us, as they [the NEAFL] are a real quality side with a lot of quality players.

``But Tassie are traditionally  underdogs when it comes to rep footy and wear that with pride, and I have no doubt this group will go out and have a fair crack at it.''

The Western Storm's six representatives (Bart McCulloch, Jay Blackberry, Mitch Hills, Matt Hanson, Will Hanson and Thane Bardenhagen) all made the final squad, with Launceston represented by  Scott Stephens in the coach's box.

The women's team, which will face Queensland in the curtain-raiser, was also finalised yesterday, with Launceston's Meagan Kiely, Angela Dickson, Kiara Foley and Chanette Thuringer included.


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