K rock Football

Raiders chase fast start

GDFL coach Reece Holwell. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

GDFL coach Reece Holwell says the Raiders can’t afford to allow Bellarine to jump them in Saturday’s highly-anticipated interleague clash at Queen’s Park.

The GDFL will go in the first meeting in 30 years between the two leagues as the rank underdog, but Holwell is confident they can spring a surprise.

“We know the intensity is going to step up a fair bit, as it always does in interleague, so we can’t be waiting for it just to fall our way,” he said.

“We’ve got to make things happen and get our hands on the footy early and stay in the game.”

The Raiders look set to take at 11 members from the team that defeated Heathcote and District at North Geelong last year into the clash.

Among the new faces are Thomson’s league-leading goal kicker Dan Freeman, Werribee Centrals’ Nic Bauld and Inverleigh coach Adam Donohue, with Holwell keen to have a versatile forward line on the vast expanses of KFC Oval.

“We’ve gone a little bit more mobile down there this year,” he said.

“Hopefully, these guys can get off their opponent and be dangerous for us.”

Holwell says the battle between Luke Wilson and Bellarine’s John Meesen in the ruck will be crucial to the outcome.

“Meesen is a big, imposing ruckman, so Poodle’s got a big job ahead of him,” he said.

“Last year, that was the spot we were quite worried about in the Interleague game, but he managed a best-on-ground performance.

“We’re backing Poodle in 100 per cent.”

The return of Jack Brauman after a year split between VFL club Werribee and Bell Park in the GFL has Holwell confident the Raiders can match it with the Sharks’ midfield.

“Every time he walks out on the field, he gives 110 per cent, so he’s a good presence for us around the footy,” Holwell said.

“We’re looking for him to get us going nice and early.”

Twitter: @tom_king79