Wright chosen to coach rep side
FOR the second year in a row, Redbacks assistant coach and club vice-president, Jason “Rocky” Wright, has been chosen to coach the AFL Darling Downs representative side.
The match, being played in Toowoomba on June 11 at Rockville Oval against Summerland AFL, will be a real test for the Darling Downs.
Wright will have three assistants this year who will double as his selection committee.
The combined experience of Darling Downs development manager Keith Webb, USQ coach Geoff Bolton and Redbacks coach Peter Millard, will be invaluable in all aspects of the game.
The initial squad is made up of the best 60 players on the Downs and will be cut back to a final squad of 22 plus four emergencies.
The Redbacks representative players before the cut will be Brendan Iles, Kurt Millard, Andrew Bardsley, Andrew Politch, Tony Chandler, Matthew Sinkins, Steve Martin, Coen Slatter, Kris Millard and Kurt Heier.
Iles will be in contention for one of the three on-field leadership roles.
The corresponding game last year saw Summerland AFL victors by 28 points.
The game was in the balance for most of the day, but the fitter southerners with the homeground advantage ran away with it in the last quarter.
The fitness factor will be one of the first things Wright will be looking at and it will play a big part in the selection criteria.
A star-studded team, coached last year by Adelaide Crows ex-ruckman Shaun Rhein, is likely to have additional strengths with three TAC Cup players from Victoria.
Speed through the mid-field and a back six who gave away nothing was the secret to their success and it would be a fair guess the structure in those areas will not be much different.
Rhein has hung up his clipboard and handed the reins over to Lismore legend George Massa – a player well known to most of the Redbacks courtesy of five years of pre-season games against Lismore.
This in itself will set up a great contest between the respective coaches.