CAIRNS ruck ace Jo Butland hopes her teammates recognise this weekend’s series against Brisbane as a chance to impress state selectors ahead of next year’s AFL Women’s National Championships.

Cairns hosts Brisbane for three matches over the next four days in what has become an annual contest between the cities.

While there are no national titles this year, Butland said it was not too early for Cairns players to stake a claim for Queensland selection.

“These games are important for the girls who have representative hopes next year and gives them a chance to impress the Brisbane coaches and get identified,” she said.

“The Brisbane girls we’ll be up against are into their second or third round of their competition and should be into the full swing of it.

It’ll be tough. They’ll have some talented players out there against us.”
The AFL Cairns Women’s League 2009-10 competition finished in March, with some players training in the weeks leading up to the Brisbane clashes to stay fit.

Butland, who suffered a serious foot injury this year, expects Cairns to push its southern rival.

“I’d be disappointed if we didn’t win any games,” she said. “It’s a bit hard to tell exactly how we’ll go.

“Training has been a bit up and down because it’s been hard getting a consistency of girls at training.

“One week there’ll be one group of players at training and next week there’ll be another. But I still think we can win 2-1, if not 3-0.”

Cairns plays Brisbane tonight (7pm) at Fretwell Park, Sunday (4pm) at Cazlays and Monday (10.30am) at Cazalys

Andrew Piva @ Cairns Post  Friday 30 April 2010

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