NUMBERS still give Burleigh hopes of finals action this season, but it all boils down to the fact they have to beat Gold Coast neighbours Palm Beach-Currumbin in a big derby at Bill Godfrey Oval.
By Terry Wilson
And there is nothing better than a match against bitter rivals PBC to get the blood flowing among the Bombers.
Indications are that Burleigh will lift for the occasion after coach Zane Doubleday described Thursday night’s training as the best he has seen for some time.
“The club always looks forward to playing Palm Beach,” he said. “It was our best training for a long time and hopefully we can take that into the weekend.
“The guys are looking forward to testing themselves against quality opposition – and Palmy are probably the form side at the moment.”
Burleigh’s position on the ladder, in terms of finals action, is precarious. The Bombers have 20 points, a win shy of fifth-placed PBC, so a loss would all but end their chances of September action.
“Mathematically we’re still in with a chance, but we need to beat PBC. If we do it would give players the belief they belong in the top five,” said Doubleday.
Burleigh have their now mandatory multiple changes – PBC are worse this weekend – losing Dane Carmody (who played on permit from Southport last round), Cameron King, Matt O’Brien and Mitch Wren.
But back in action is star goalsneak Nathan Sullivan, key forward Luke Rowe and wingman Josh O’Connell.
The Bombers also named late signing former Chelsea wingman Joe Garner for his debut seniors game.
Palm Beach, who entertain hopes of a top0-three finish for the finals, have made five changes.
They lose Stephan Thynne, Matt Boyd (jarred knee), Lee Clark (shoulder), Simeon Blowes (holidays) and Robert Scott.
Into the side are big man David Round, defenders Damien Lyon and Scott Vis, on-baller Ryan Hards and ruckman Michael I’Anson.
The Lions still have second spot on their radar, but have to keep winning, said coach Craig O’Brien.
And the Lions need to get all top players on deck as the finals close in.
“We want to get all our guys on the paddock at the right end of the season,” he said.
“We’ve been patchy all season with players going in and out, so we’re just starting to work out who can stand up and who can’t.”
The message from O’Brien was clear that selectors are sorting out the wheat from the chaff.
“We’re working to formulate the 24 or 25 who will be in the mix for the finals,” said O’Brien.