Geared up for the state’s best

TRARALGON’s Mark Collison will rest from the Gippsland League this weekend to don navy blue and white when he represents Victoria Country.

Collison was named in the 25-man representative squad for Sunday’s clash against Victoria Metro, as part of the 2016 AFL Victoria Community Cup.

He will take experience with him to Preston City Oval, having played in last year’s victorious Victoria Country side in a clash against the Victorian Amateur Football Association.

But Collison is not taking the experience for granted, instead valuing the chance to play against quality footballers from across the state.

“I’m pretty proud to represent the state and the Gippsland area,” Collison said.

“It’s a pretty good honour.”

Collison said using AFL club Hawthorn’s facilities in Waverley to prepare for the match was rewarding.

So too, he said, was learning from the best footballers in country Victoria, with the chance to take new skills back to his Traralgon side.

“In footy, you’re always learning no matter who you are and what you’ve done,” he said.

Victoria Metro’s final squad had not been named by the time of going to print, but Collison was keen to win no matter the quality of his opposition.

“Of course you always play to win and I’m going in to win, absolutely,” Collison said.

“I know they’re an awesome side as well. Whoever prepares better will get the reward.”

Collison will be joined in the Vic Country line-up by Drouin coach and ruckman Bob McCallum, while their respective club sides face off in the Gippsland League.

The under 19 Vic Country side and the Victorian Amateur Football Association will play off from 11.15am in a curtain raiser ahead of Sunday’s blockbuster match.

First bounce for the senior match at Preston City Oval is scheduled for 2pm.