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Speed to burn

Thursday, 10th May, 2012

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Jordan Tonkin is one of a handful of players who will be watched closely by combined squad selectors this week. IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Jordan Tonkin is one of a handful of players who will be watched closely by combined squad selectors this week.

By Darrin Manuel

Talent from the West and North football clubs may form the foundation for the city’s bid to retain the Miners Cup when Broken Hill clashes with Woomera Districts next month.

Twenty players from the Robins and Bulldogs have been named amongst an initial 32-man squad to play against Woomera at AAMI Stadium.

The team will be coached by former North premiership coach, David Ruddock, who said he would again look to use speed to exploit the opposition.  

“We’re bringing a quick, hard ball-getting side again; that’s the only way to match them,” he said.

“They’ve usually got the big bodies so we tend to go in the other direction.

“Over the last two years I probably haven’t taken the 23 best name players in Broken Hill. I take a team that I know will win us the game.

“I think we won by 80 points last year and 72 the year before, so hopefully that continues.”

Ruddock said the squad, which also contains six players each from Central and South, would be subject to change depending on injury, availability and form.

“That’s not the final squad. There’s still a few more we’ve got our eye on,” he said.

“Blokes like the O’Brien brothers, Jordan Tonkin, Lindon Cox and Cynan Smith, we’ll have a good look at them this weekend.”

The match against Woomera will also give Ruddock a welcome opportunity to move back into the coaches box.

He stepped down as senior coach of the Bulldogs in 2011 after leading the club to its 35th flag.

“It’s been a bit different just sitting back in the bleachers and only having to watch,” he said.

“I do miss it and I’m really looking forward to this four to five week program.”

Ruddock will be supported by assistant coach Ayrton Walker who will further his credentials as an astute gameday tactician.

“He’s got a very smart football brain. He’ll look at the opposition on game day and let me know at quarter time and half time where to make moves and match ups,” he said.

“He did the same thing with me for the last two years at North and he’s very good at it, so that’s why I’m going with him.”

The preliminary squad:

West: C. Ryan, M. Nelson,  B. Rose, J. Naden,  B. Martin, D. Milne, H. Harris, N. Agius, G. Conway.

North: C. Howard, J. Ruddock, M. Garrick, J. Kelly, M. Dempster, T. Hack, C. Billings, J. Napier, N. Rayner, A. Henderson, J. McInnes.

South: M. Purcell,  B. Dolan, A. Bird, D. Browne, D. Stuart, C. Schorn.

Central: B. Zanette, J. Heath, P. Christie, B. Quinn,  Z. White, M. Anderson.

The squad will have their first training on May 16 at the Memorial Oval at 5.30pm.

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