GSFL 2024: Strong blend of youth and experience among 44-player initial squad named for country championships

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Great Southern's Robbie Lee kicks at the championships last year.
Camera IconGreat Southern's Robbie Lee kicks at the championships last year. Credit: Michael Bain

The Great Southern Football League has announced an initial squad in preparation for next month’s Nutrien Ag Solutions Country Football Championships, with an exciting blend of youth and experience among the 44 players named.

A crop of emerging young stars has been named by selectors, complementing several senior faces led by former Fremantle and St Kilda player Brett Peake.

Peake is among 10 players from ladder leaders and reigning premiers Albany that have been named in the extended squad.

State country representative Bailey Taylor, who has moved from the Goldfields Football League, is a huge addition to the GSFL squad after his brilliant early form with the Sharks.

Kleemann Medallist Robbie Lee and senior trio Kane Pinney, Isaac Baum and Cam Jones are other big-name Sharks in the squad.

Great Southern pair Zach Jackson and Taj Williams.
Camera IconGreat Southern pair Zach Jackson and Taj Williams. Credit: Michael Bain

Royals also have 10 members in the initial squad but returning Lion Darcy Reader and boom recruit Brock Higgins are not among those.

Early Kleemann Medal fancy Declan McNamara, tall utility Hamish McMorran, dominant ruckman Stephen Beal and classy midfielder Zak Mola have all been named.

There are three West Coast WAFL players in the squad, Denmark-Walpole pair Reagan Hutchinson and Revis Alone plus North Albany’s Rhett Lloyd, who are likely to be included subject to availability from the Eagles.

Key Mt Barker trio Daniel Patching, Zach Jackson and Brodie Duffield have been included and North Albany’s contingent is led by Nick Barrow, Jyrin Woods and experienced head Graham Ross.

GSFL head coach Glynn Verbruggen was delighted with the early interest in playing at the carnival.

“We are really excited with the squad we’ve put together,” he said.

“The balance we have compared to last year and just the good youth that we have coming through is big for us.”

Young guns like Railways midfielder Ryley Valli, Bulls link man Tyreice Brown, Magpies defender Ben Olden, Lions pair Ben Altus and Seb Stanton, Kangas ball winner Kobi Keen and dashing Shark Brock Anning are some of the names that will bring a fresh look to the Great Southern side.

Great Southern coach Glynn Verbruggen.
Camera IconGreat Southern coach Glynn Verbruggen. Credit: Michael Bain

Great Southern competed in division 3 of the championships last year and started in red-hot fashion with two wins on the opening day.

However consecutive losses the following day left the Great Southern squandering what could have been, failing to reach the grand final.

The side will have new leaders in 2024 with last year’s captain and vice-captain both not playing.

Veteran midfielder Matt Orzel is not playing this year and Logan Stubber is recovering from another ACL injury.

The squad will train together for the first time at Retravision Stadium on June 25 starting at 6pm.

The fixtures for this year’s championships were released last month with Great Southern one of six teams in division 3 of the senior competition that is held on July 12-14.

Great Southern will face Onshore Cup, North Midlands, Esperance and Central Wheatbelt in their qualifying games.

GSFL senior squad

Isaac Baum, Marlin Bennett, Robbie Lee, Brett Peake, Kane Pinney, Cam Jones, Bailey Taylor, Taj Williams, Tait McLean, Brock Anning (Albany), Reagan Hutchinson, Revis Alone, Ben Olden (Denmark-Walpole), Daniel Patching, David Stone, Mitch Jackson, Zach Jackson, Darcy Wallinger, Brent Parsons, Brodie Duffield, Tyreice Brown, Camball McMahon (Mt Barker), Nick Barrow, Kobi Keen, Jyrin Woods, Graham Ross, Rhett Lloyd, Drew Willcocks (North Albany), Leighton Smith, Ryan Davies, Beau Ewen, Jayden Scott, Ryley Valli, Joel Want (Railways), Brayden Parker, Joel Flick, Stephen Beal, Zak Mola, Declan McNamara, Ben Altus, Corey Linthorne, Hamish McMorran, Nathan Powell, Seb Stanton (Royals)

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