Senior representative coach Aaron Viney says a quartet of ex-North Launceston players will be key to his side’s chances against the SFL this weekend.
South Launceston premiership coach Leigh Harding has been named captain of Viney’s team, which will feature two other division 1 coaches in George Town’s Allan O’Sign and Scottsdale’s Geoff Mohr.
O’Sign, Mohr and Scottsdale big man Daniel Roozendaal lined up as forward pocket, key defender and ruck respectively in the Northern Bombers’ 2014 premiership and have been named in the same positions for the NTFA’s first representative clash in five years.
“The guys are really excited,” Viney said.
“Especially some of the older guys who have come back to the NTFA from State League level and it’s their first opportunity they’ve had - they’re in the twilight of their career a few guys and they’re jumping out of their skin to get the opportunity.
“We’ve got a lot of good players - guys that have played at a higher level like Harding, O’Sign, Mohr, Roozendaal - all guys that have played a lot of State League footy so they’re all going to be keys.
“But there’s also some other guys at the other end of the scale, we’ve got two guys that are eligible to play in the under-18s side, two 17-year-olds who are getting their opportunity in Josh Harris and Brayden Claridge so I’m really excited to see how the young guys go as well.”
Hillwood received the most caps of any club, with key forward Jake King being drafted in from outside the initial squad of 30 to play alongside Nathan Pearce, Damon Howe, Josh Moore and Adam Humzy.
South Launceston and Rocherlea were next best with three representatives each.
Viney said his squad had built up good chemistry in the lead-up to Saturday’s clash.
“It’s been really good, we’ve had about six or seven training sessions together and they’re creating a real mateship now which is good.
“We came together with a squad of 30 blokes around five weeks ago and they were opponents at that stage, but now we’ve had a lot of good sessions together and they guys have got to know each other really well.”
The NTFA’s opposition looms largely as an unknown, but Viney is confident he has picked the best side for the ground.
“We’ve worked pretty hard at how we want to move the footy and how we want to play North Hobart Oval.
“Being a small oval we’ve got a bit of a game plan in mind, we’ve got a lot of quick guys and a lot of pace around the footy so internally we’ve got a game plan that we’re going to stick to.”