Tassie style could win it

Western Storm coach Mitch Hills.
Western Storm coach Mitch Hills.

TASMANIA'S work with the contested ball will be enough to counter the fast- running NEAFL side, says ruckman-forward Mitch Hills.

The Western Storm coach, one of six players' from the State League's new franchise selected, believes the "old school" Tasmanian mentality of winning the inside ball would be enough to break down a visiting side full of players who have had time on an AFL list.

"We have looked at a fair bit of vision, and they look like they are a fast moving and very slick side.

"They look like they like to have the ball on the outside and use their foot skills and speed a little bit more," Hills said.

"We have more of that Tassie style of inside, hard contested footy and that's what we'll try to bring on Saturday."

Hills realises the key roles that taller players such as himself and Bart McCulloch, Aaron Cornelius, Jason Laycock and Nick McKenna will play.

"We do feel we have an advantage in our team, and hopefully we can stretch the NEAFL side, who haven't shown they have a lot of quality talls.

"In saying that, we do know it will have to be won in the midfield first, and we believe we have the game plan for that.

"They are a hugely talented side and their competition is really quite strong.

"We beat the eastern conference last year, so it is a tough task, but we believe the top end players in this state are as good as any, and that's who will be playing on Saturday."

Hills said it was special to be sharing tomorrow with five of his closest mates (McCulloch, Jay Blackberry, Matt and Will Hanson and Thane Bardenhagen), and it was a great moment for the club in its first year.

"I've been in the team once or twice before when it has just been myself (from his club), which is an honour, and it does make it more special when it is with some of your close mates and guys you are with every other night.

"Both the Hanson boys, but especially Will, I expect to do well.

"He has gone under the radar a bit averaging 30 disposals a week at centre- half-back. He wasn't in the initial squad and found himself in there after some good performances.

"He had a good game in the Foxtel Cup."

Tomorrow's game at Bellerive Oval starts at 2pm.


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