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Footy veterans getting serious

Thursday, 1st April, 2010

* Pictured recently were new Shinglebacks coach Brett Morris (right) and his assistant Jay Robins in the two guernseys that will be used this year in B Grade. * Pictured recently were new Shinglebacks coach Brett Morris (right) and his assistant Jay Robins in the two guernseys that will be used this year in B Grade.

The Broken Hill Football League (BHFL) has used its Executive powers to approve a request from the Barrier Shinglebacks to be included in the Reserves competition this year. BHFL President, David Sedunary, said that while the other four clubs will have reservations, the Executive believed it would add a "new dimension" to the competition, similar to what the Warriors and Outsiders Cricket Clubs did for the B grade cricket competition.

Although a five-team competition will create a bye each week, Mr Sedunary said with work and social commitments the players should not be too concerned. Shinglebacks' players will be allowed to have dual registration with their preferred club and the Shinglebacks, he said. The four league clubs will have first option on a player but if any Shinglebacks' member is not selected for a B grade team on Thursday night they will be eligible to play for the Shinglebacks, Mr Sedunary said.

Shinglebacks' President, Terry Anderson, welcomed the BHFL decision and issued a warning to the four other teams that "the old fellas will be no easy beats."

Mr Anderson said that with a playing list including former Premiership players, Lionel Johnston trophy winners and numerous club best and fairest players to pick from "the lizards" will be up to the challenge. He said that several eligible players (who are turning 33) may make the move to the Shinglebacks to free up spots for the other clubs to develop their youth. Brett Morris, the League's games record holder, has accepted the position as the Shingleback' playing coach with North's Jay Robins his assistant.

Fresh from playing the Riverland Superdogs, Mr Morris said experience can prevail over youth, and with some 50 members most of the players will only need to front up one week in three, "except for those really keen for a kick like Craig Thomas, Josh Savage and Brendan Price."

Mr Morris said the older Shinglebacks will be saved for the Masters matches and a big recruiting drive will be undertaken to attract more players who will enjoy the low key training requirements.

The Shinglebacks' first game, in the amended Reserves draw, will be against West at 7.45pm on Friday April 16. The Shinglebacks have just acquired a second set of guernseys and will use the grey/orange set against Central and North and the Blue/Gold set against West and South.

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