Speed and skill key to victory

THE Gippsland League selection committee has unveiled a 31-man squad from which a team of 23 will be chosen to contest the Victorian Country Championships.

GL, ranked eighth of 32 in Victoria Country, will tackle 12th-placed Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League on 25 May at Ted Summerton Reserve, Moe.

Gippsland coach Hayden Burgiel said the selectors had opted for speed and skill in a new-look squad, about half of which were new to the representative outfit.

“It’s as strong as we can be,” Burgiel said.

“We’ve got a bit of youth in there as well with (guys like) Tim Northe who hasn’t played before.”

With three training sessions leading up to the match, Burgiel said he would be out to mould a game plan around the strengths of the group.

“Inter-league is more for a show than trying to shut the opposition down so we’ll be trying to find a style of play that suits our team,” he said.

The side last year succumbed 18.12 (120) to 15.7 (97) against seventh-placed Bendigo, but Burgiel believed GL was worthy of a higher ranking.

Burgiel lamented a lack of numbers when playing away, which has hurt the GL side in the past.

“Every time we play away we seem to lose… when we play away we aren’t at full strength and seem to get rolled by two or three goals,” he said.

“Obviously we want to win the game… I think we deserve to be playing off for five and six at least so we need to win the next two years to get to where we should be.”

The squad will train at Moe on Tuesday, 21 May and Thursday, 23 May, with the final team to be announced after the last session.