Bulldogs back our boys

Saturday, 11th May, 2013

Central Districts’ Reserves Coach Jeff Brown fires up the Broken Hill players at training yesterday in Elizabeth.PICTURES: Darrin Manuel Central Districts’ Reserves Coach Jeff Brown fires up the Broken Hill players at training yesterday in Elizabeth.PICTURES: Darrin Manuel

By Darrin Manuel
The Broken Hill combined team has turned to SANFL giant Central Districts in its quest to bring home the Miners Cup.
Coach David Ruddock handed his players over to Bulldogs officials yesterday for a final training session at Playford Alive Oval in Elizabeth ahead of today’s clash with Far North at AAMI Stadium.
The players were put through their paces by Jeff Brown, who coaches the Bulldogs reserves and also handles some of the country’s elite young talent as head coach of the SA Under 20 team.
Ruddock said Central Districts’ offer to train the players and allow them to use their facilities had furthered the club’s relationship with Broken Hill.
“They’ve been very good to Broken Hill football, especially with our younger kids and providing equipment, and we’re very appreciative,” he said.
The players did some light running before setting up for some skills work and drills focusing on quick ball movement.
“The training was good. We’ve been training very, very well for the past few weeks actually,” said Ruddock.
“The bus ride was OK, but this was a good chance to get out and stretch our legs and get out any travel soreness.
“The players looked sharp, and it was great to have Jeff take them. He’s really lifted the team and I’m sure they’ll take a lot of it.”
Brown offered some local knowledge on how to approach the game, and implored the players to keep AAMI’s Stadium’s wide spaces in mind.
He stressed the importance of blocking the opponent’s run, and even being willing to be caught holding the ball if it results in a stoppage and prevents the opposition from running away with the ball.
“To play on Footy Park is a big event, and footy will be finishing up there soon so they will be one of the last teams to play there,” he said
“But there’s a lot of space at the ground which the players have to consider. It’s also good to use the corridor rather than going around the boundary.”
Brown wished the players well in their match, and said he had enjoyed the opportunity to work with them.
“It’s been great, they’re all keen as mustard. I think you know exactly what you’re going to get from them.
“It’s going to be a very quick game and I really hope the players do well and represent their city well.”
The only hurdle to returning home victorious will be the Far North squad, and Ruddock said he expects a physical contest early.
“It’s the same as usual. We’ve got a smaller side and they will come out with a big side and try and hit us hard early,” he said.
“We’ve just got to stay with them in the first quarter then maybe run away with it as the game goes on - we have a side capable of doing that.”
There could also be more than just Miners Cup glory on the line for the team’s younger players, with Central Districts Development Manager, Scott Stephens, suggesting players could further their careers with a good showing.
“A lot of players don’t get the opportunity to play on Football Park - even at SANFL level you only get a run out there in the finals,” said Stephens
“A few of the young blokes could even get an opportunity with league clubs. There’ll be clubs here having a look so you never know what could happen.”
The game will begin at 10.05am today and will be played as a curtain raiser to the AFL clash between Richmond and Port Adelaide.