Northern Football League representative coach Garry Ramsay has unveiled his 24-man team to take on the WRFL.
The NFL will take on the best of the WRFL at Preston City Oval on Saturday as part of the 2017 WorkSafe AFL Victoria Community Championships.
The NFL’s 24-man team includes players from 10 clubs, with teams from Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 and Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 represented.
To view the squad, please click on the link below.
DOWNLOAD: 2017 NFL Senior Representative Squad
The NFL will be looking to return to the winners’ list at representative level after losing its past two matches against the MPNFL and VAFA.
NFL representative coach Garry Ramsay believes the tight bond developed by his playing group will play a key role in its clash with the WRFL.
“I think the real strength comes with the comradeship that we have,” Ramsay said.
“In the training sessions we’ve had everyone seems to get along really well. I would suggest that the strength will come from the tightness of the group.”
The NFL has had a three-week training program to prepare for the match, with preparations ramping up this week in the lead up to the big occasion.
Ramsay said he was pleased with how the squad had come together and said his side would be well prepared to take on the WRFL.
“We look like we’re really well balanced with backs, forwards and through the midfield,” he said.
“We’re really confident that we will have the best available side out there.”
Ramsay said the players’ training workload had been managed in readiness for the game.
He said much of the training program had been about educating the squad about the style he wanted the side to play.
“Once we prepared the best available list we’re not trying to teach them an in-depth game plan and we’re not trying to change the way they play,” Ramsay said.
“In the one session that we had trying to teach them where we wanted to move the ball, they got onto it straight away, within about 35 minutes. They understand the way we want to play.
“I suppose the important part is that we are going to have a full week together this week where we will behave like a team to prepare properly. We will spend this week together like any normal week at club level. That will be really important.”
The NFL currently sits fifth in the AFL Victoria Community Championships rankings, one spot ahead of the WRFL – who last year recorded a thrilling win over the Ballarat Football Netball League.
Ramsay expects the WRFL to again name a fleet-footed side for this year’s Championships.
“I believe that they’ll be relying on speed,” he said.
“They’re going in with a fast side and that will be their style of footy. We believe that they will be picking a fast side so we’ll be looking to counteract that.”
Montmorency skipper Jesse Donaldson and Bundoora’s reigning Frank Rosbrook medalist Matthew Dennis will again captain the NFL this year, with their leadership skills again coming to the fore during the training program.
Ramsay said he was hopeful a big crowd would be in attendance at Preston City Oval to support the NFL on Saturday.
“So far the support has been great and all the clubs have indicated that they are behind the program and that they want their players to play.
“We’d like to think they will also support with their feet as well and give support to the players from their club and to the players from our league.
“It’s probably the highest level that we are going to see in local football in our area. I think it’s a real reward for the players and it would be nice to make it a big deal for all of them.”