The Tasmania Mariners (Under 18s) are back in action tomorrow (Saturday April 8 2017), facing up against the GWS Giants Academy from 10:00AM, at North Hobart Oval.
The Mariners come into the match after a week off with their scheduled trip to face the Brisbane Lions academy washed out due to inclement weather in Queensland, last weekend. Their last showing and their first match of the academy series was back on March 26, which saw them down Northern Territory convincingly to the tune of 49 points.
Despite last week’s cancelled match, coach Lance Spaulding believes the team has prepared well and is ready for the challenge of GWS, tomorrow.
“Training has been terrific, one of the real positives about tomorrow is we have Chayce (Jones) and Tarryn (Thomas) away with the AFL Academy, so it gives an opportunity to look at another couple of blokes.”
Glenorchy’s Harrison Gunther comes in to the side after a strong showing in the TSL, while Clarence’s Tyson Hanslow and James Brenner have also been included.
“We’ve had blokes come into the side in Gunther, Hanslow and Brenner and they’ve really deserved to come into the team. the opportunity hasn’t just been given to them, they’ve really earned it which we are please about.”
Spaulding believes the victory over Northern Territory has built confidence in the team and it has been evident in the training standards ahead of the meeting with the Giants.
“We can only take it on how their training has been, we’ve had the week off and it would have been good to keep the roll going but we’ve had a good week on the track and we are looking forward to jumping back into it.”
Both sides will be missing some key stars that have been called up for the AFL Academy teams but the matchup will be highly competitive. The GWS Giants Academy’s present a strong threat will a lot of tall timber at their disposal, with 11 players in their 25 player squad standing at 192 cms or more. The Tassie Coach believes fast ball movement will be key in his Mariners nullifying the big men and gaining the upperhand.
“We expect them to be fast, quick with their hands, they will be pretty keen to do well against us. They look a tall side but they’ve lost a few to the Academy sides as well so their side will be a little bit different to what we have observed.
“We know it is going to be a tough, physical game and it is going to be important early to set the standard. Most importantly it is about doing what we have been doing and getting better at it. We are not changing anything.
“I’ve been happy with the way we’ve been using the ball, our patterns and our style of play has been terrific to this point but its going to go up a notch. Our biggest challenge is whether we’ve got it in us to pull the trigger and use the ball faster.”
The only impact the unscheduled week off has had on his team is a spike in the boys desire to play, says Spaulding.
“We’ve got back to the point where the boys are really hungry to play again and I think thats a real positive.”
TASSIE MARINERS U18s
GWS GIANTS ACADEMY U18s
at North Hobart Oval
10am Saturday 8 April 2017
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