AFL rivalries renewed at Slade

TODAY at 1.30pm an important day for both the Goondiwindi and Redbacks AFL Clubs begins at Slade Park. Not only is the Anzac Cup up for grabs, but the Warwick v Goondiwindi Challenge Shield goes on the line as the two country clubs meet.

The past few seasons Slade Park has not been a happy hunting ground for Gundy. With a much better defensive combination and forward structure, the Hawks are ready to turn the tables on the Redbacks.

The fierce tackling and hard-running style of play caught the Reddies by surprise in the pre-season Cardinal Cup. New coach and key defender David O’Toole, is an inspiration to the youth he has playing around him. Brent Townshend and Eric Maunder have stepped up their workload and are looking seriously at a spot in the AFL DD representative side for later in the year.

Slade Park is not the only problem facing Gundy. Key players Jeremy Leahy (C), Steve Collett (VC) and Joe Verney are all under injury clouds. The trio will travel with the team, but will have to face fitness tests.

Warwick has lost hard-working defender Steve Martin and utility Josh Andrews, but the return of star mid-fielder Kurt Millard and speedy rover Vaughn Skelly will be a huge plus.

The injury list of outs has grown since Tuesday night and the team will have to do it without forward Kris Millard, wingman Matt Sinkins, defender Jake Peasnell and half forward Nick Tate.

Captain Courageous Brenda Iles is in great form and Andrew Bardsley, Tony Chandler and Gavin O’Leary are moving the ball well across the half-back line.

First year player Mark O’Dwyer is combining well with the older heads in the club. In the case of a close game, the cool heads of veterans Steve Gray, Jason Wright and Clinton McErvale will be the telling factor.

Goondiwindi never says die and the Redbacks are playing confident football, the perfect recipe for what I believe will be a game decided in the last quarter.

Junior Auskick for U8s and 10s will begin at 8.30am.

The U12s and 14s will go into battle with Goondiwindi as curtain raisers to the Anzac Cup commemoration ceremony, which commences at 12.30pm.

Veterans Support and Advocacy Services Australia in conjunction with the Redbacks and the RSL invite all veterans to wear their medals and enjoy a great day of sport and camaraderie.

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