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Who’s in? GNFL names extended country week squads as preparation for championships begin

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
GNFL's Kingsley Smith handballs to Farren Parfitt while under pressure from Great Southern's Will Oelsnik.
Camera IconGNFL's Kingsley Smith handballs to Farren Parfitt while under pressure from Great Southern's Will Oelsnik. Credit: Ian Munro/The West Australian

The rebirth of the Great Northern country week squad is complete as the league and colt teams for the tournament in July were officially named this week.

While the colts side has been going strong, finishing runner-up at last year’s edition to an all-powerful Peel side, this is the first league team put together since 2019.

Despite the three-year hiatus Great Northern have retained its division two status and will face off against fellow Mid West league Central Midlands Coastal along with the Goldfields, Central Wheatbelt, Eastern Districts and Mortlock.

They are not the only team returning after a lengthy layoff as, for the first time since 2005, the South West-based Onshore Cup Football Association will return to the carnival in division three.

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While North Pilbara will also return in division three after more than three decades with their last appearance coming in 1990.

Leith Teakle, who will be coaching the GNFL side, said he has been impressed with the quality he had seen so far this season.

“I think the fitness level is pretty good and the skill level is very good, unfortunately, it’s not a long season so it’s hard to get a real good gauge on everything but at the same time, I’m hoping that’s an advantage for the guys that do play country,” he said.

“They get another few games in and can use it as another stepping stone for their own performance for the GNFL.”

Teakle said he was hopeful the squad could challenge for the title and longer-term wants the GNFL to get back into first-division competition.

“We wouldn’t be going down there if we didn’t want to win and if we put a good squad together that’s going to work together, we should perform very well,” he said.

“My view is that the GNFL is an A-grade League, although we haven’t won for a long time we’ve proven if we can get the right team on the park we can certainly push and be really competitive in the top grade.

While named the final squad will be without several stars with the likes of Flynn Dillon, Dion Anthony and Chris Scott all set to be away overseas but there is still plenty of talent in the side.

“Harry Taylor’s committed as long as his body is right, Josh Kennedy is probably a long shot but he said he’ll come down and train with the boys which would be great, we’ll take anything we can from Josh,” Teakle said.

“We’ve got a squad of 47 and we can take 28 so there’s enough scope to cover for injuries or absentees but if we pick players in certain positions, and they go down over the next four weeks, we’ll definitely look at trying to replace those positions.”

The colts side has also named their extended squad which has quite a different look to the one that finished runners-up last year but coach Jason Graham is hopeful they can go one better this year.

“It’s a bit younger than last year we probably only have about five or six guys that went last year whether that will help us it’s too early to say at this stage,” he said.

“The commitment of the boys to training and the squad has been excellent so far and we always want to get better every year and take that step further.”

Graham said he hoped a longer preparation time would help this year.

“Peel was obviously a well-oiled machine last year and looked more prepared than anyone but hopefully with a longer lead in this year we can match that preparation,” he said.

“Looking ahead we obviously want to get the boys together as much as possible and build that camaraderie and while we’ve cut the squad back to 35 there’s still room for those who really impress at training and game days.”

Both the league and colts country week sides will meet at the Recreation Ground on Monday for their first official run together, with the championships set to begin with colts on July 6.

EXTENDED COUNTRY WEEK LEAGUE SQUAD

Beau Simpson (Rovers), Ben Saunders (Railways), Braden Jupp (Northampton), Brett Robinson (Chapman Valley), Chris Scott (Rovers), Dion Anthony (Railways), Drew Forrester (Towns), Drew Tunbridge (Railways), Dylan Corbett (Northampton), Dylan Curley (Rovers), Dylan Ralph (Brigades), Dylan Williamson (Chapman Valley), Farren Parfitt (Rovers), Flynn Dillon (Northampton), Glen Prosser (Rovers), Harrison King (Brigades), Harry Taylor (Northampton), Hayden Johnson (Brigades), Henry Anderson (Railways), Henry Perham (Brigades), Jack Cripps (Northampton), Jack Deschamp (Brigades), Jack McQuie (Northampton), Jack Perham (Brigades), Jamie Ryder (Brigades), Jamie Williams (Northampton), Jay O’Brien (Chapman Valley), Jayden Schofield (Brigades), Jesse Adamini (Railways), Jordan Williamson (Railways), Josh Simpson (Rovers), Kaiden Dann (Brigades), Kim Schofield (Brigades), Kingsley Smith (Northampton), Klay Sipila (Brigades), Kobe Simpson (Rovers), Kris Ryder (Brigades), Lee Hutchins (Chapman Valley), Leon Galby (Mullewa), Matthew Kimberley (Railways), Mitchell Thompson (Chapman Valley), Ringo McKenna (Chapman Valley), Ryan Le Tessier (Railways), Tom Fleming (Brigades), Trent Simpson (Northampton), Tristan Jacques (Chapman Valley), Tom Denton (Rovers)

EXTENDED COUNTRY WEEK COLTS SQUAD

Austin Breen (Brigades), Blake Tazewell (Rovers), Calarni Dann (Brigades), Caleb Hawkins (Chapman Valley), Camron Hoefhammer (Towns), Carnell Riley (Mullewa), Clay Azevedo (Rovers), Coen Mason (Railways), Connor Westbrook (Northampton), Draydon Wingo (Railways), Finn Dethlefsen (Railways), Gregg Galby (Mullewa), Harrison Lane (Chapman Valley), Jack Connell (Railways), James Simmons (Towns), Jaxon Graham (Railways), Jayden Carroll (Railways), Jerome Little (Mullewa), Jy Thurstun (Rovers), Kadence Flanagan (Mullewa), Kodi Giltrow (Railways), Korey Clarke (Railways), Liam Poletti (Northampton), Llewyn Valli (Brigades), Lucas Ronan (Brigades), Mick Horstman (Chapman Valley), Ned Osborn (Towns), Quinton Narkle (Northampton), Reuben Rowe (Mullewa), Riaz Mohammad (Brigades), Rory Durant (Railways), Rory Miragliotta (Chapman Valley), Samuel Lawson (Northampton), Timmy Geroge (Towns), Tyler Corlett (Towns), Xavier Cotterill (Mullewa)

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