WIMMERA Football League has named a 56-player training squad ahead of its 2014 interleague clash against North Central Football League.
The Louie Dalziel-coached side will take on North Central at Lord Nelson Park in St Arnaud on May 24.
Western Vic Football general manager Stephen McQueen said the initial squad was full of quality players.
“The initial squad is as good as could possibly be put together,” he said.
“After losing the last few years and being so close in 2013, members of that team have committed themselves to the entire interleague campaign.
“Many of those players feel that there is unfinished business going into 2014 and are very keen to participate again this year.”
All eight Wimmera Football League clubs have been represented in the squad.
Dimboola and Minyip-Murtoa are the most represented clubs, with nine players selected from each, while Horsham and Stawell have eight representatives.
Sixteen of the 26 players who represented the league in last season’s match against Casey Cardinia are in the squad, including 2013 Dimboola premiership captain Al McKinnon and reigning Toohey Medallist Justin Chilver.
McQueen said having a mix of experienced players and new players was a positive for the squad.
“It’s pleasing to have a mixture of players from last year’s squad, new players coming in and players coming up from the under-18s,” he said.
“There’s an influx of new personnel to the league and players that missed the opportunity last year.
“This year’s squad on paper is equal or better than last year’s squad.”
Minyip-Murtoa’s Kade Petering, Horsham’s Rhona Conboy and Warrack Eagles’ Jake Peters have also been included after representing the under-18 interleague squad last year, as have Burras’ recruits James Burke, Blake Grant and Darcy Harrison, who played for North Central outfit Donald last year.
McQueen said the interleague campaign had received support as the league tries to work its way up the rankings.
“The 2014 campaign has got ambassadors from every club and that group is full of experience along with the support of senior coaches throughout the league,” he said.
“The ambassadors all had an input into the selection of the squad.
“The last time we met up with neighbours we certainly didn’t have a successful campaign, so we’ll be looking to turn that around this time.”
McQueen said the under-18s squad would again be coached by Brendan Bryan, while North Central had challenged the league to an under-15s match.
He said the league is working on putting together a team to compete at the under-15 level.
Training begins for the senior interleague squad at Horsham City Oval at 6.30pm on April 30.
Wimmera interleague training squad:
Ararat: Alan Batchelor, Jake Williamson, Dan Mendes, Jake Ganley, Beau Cosson, Steven Phillips.
Dimboola: Al McKinnon, Nigel Sibson, Tyler Blake, Lachie Exell, Ash Clugston, Ryan Bell, Josh Rentsch, Hamish Exell, Justin Chilver.
Horsham: Nick Pekin, Jordyn Burke, Brad Hartigan, Joel Geue, Simon Hobbs, Sean Christopher, John Wood, Rhona Conboy.
Horsham Saints: Alexander McRae, Sam Clyne, Gary Hallam, Patty Knott, Michael Rowe.
Minyip-Murtoa: Kieran Delahunty, Declan Foott, John Delahunty, Kade Petering, Clinton Midgley, Blake Grant, Darcy Harrison, James Burke, Angus Trethowan.
Nhill: Aaron Beer, Mat Jones, Tyren Liebel, Simon Brearley, Matt Tober, Liam Albrecht.
Stawell: Tom Eckel, Jackson Dark, Todd Cleary, David Morris, Aidan Potter, Chris Ford, Shane Field, Todd Matthews.
Warrack: James Kirby, Jesse Murphy, Ben Harrison, Peter Weir, Jake Peters.