Ten of our best in CQ touch squad
Ten Bundaberg players suiting up for Central Queensland’s Open Mixed team at the National Touch League Tournament in Kawana.
“It’s definitely more Bundaberg players than I’ve ever seen in a Central Queensland team,” the 21-year-old said yesterday.
Large believes the strong Bundaberg contingent makes the team more competitive to take on the best regions in the country in March.
Since the team was announced last October players have meet at the Bundaberg Touch Association fields twice a week to prepare for the task ahead of them.
Coach Greg Duncan said having so many players in Bundaberg gave the 2010 Central Queensland team a distinct advantage over previous years.
“That was one of the main reasons I decided to coach, because so many players are local,” Duncan said.
“We’ve been able to get together and get some valuable time on the training paddock.”
Large said the extra training would be invaluable when Bundaberg took the field.
“A lot of the players already know each other really well and we’ve been able to build good combinations,” she said.
Out of the 14-player squad Bundaberg has 10 representatives: Large, Britt Duncan, Kim O’Conner, Jamie Borrowman, William Pietrosicki, Nick Edwards, Matt Harvey, Josh Lanmin, Nathan Green and Kale Johnson.
Johnson, a 20-year-old Australian Indigenous team representative, was also named as a shadow in the Open Men’s team.
Jimmy Russo from Childers was also selected in that team.
More than 35 players from the Bundaberg Touch Association (BTA) were selected in various Central Queensland teams to compete at the carnival.
BTA president Dave Field said Bundaberg’s success in the Central Queensland trials were a tribute to the growing interest in touch football in the region.
“It’s more players than we’ve had in the past,” he said.
“There has been an increase in the amount of players we have had competing in Bundaberg in recent years.”
Last year there were more than 850 juniors competing in touch football and more than 350 senior players.
That number is expected to grow again when the new season starts next month.
While big centres in the major cities will likely dominate the winner’s lists at the carnival, Field said Bundaberg players would also be playing to impress Australian selectors.
Australian selectors will be finalising their squad for the World Cup in Edinburgh, Scotland next year.
“There will be a lot of players pushing for selection in those Australian teams,” Field said.