Former Shark becomes QAFL foe

By Beth Newman

He only moved south five weeks ago, but Tyson Kruse will be the enemy on Sunday, as he attempts to plot the downfall of his home state, playing for the VAFA side against the QAFL.

The Southport junior, who completed pre-season with the Sharks this year, joined the Uni Blacks this season, after moving to Melbourne to find work.

Flown in for the first two matches of the year, Kruse fully entrenched himself in Melbourne just over a month ago, playing every match for the Uni Blacks so far.

The 24 year-old is set to come up against three of his former teammates, with Ben Merrett, Brock Askey and Tom Daniels all in the QAFL squad, and said he was looking forward to matching up against his mates.

“Should be a bit of fun,” he said.

“We’ve sort of liaised on who’s injured and who’s out and in and that sort of thing.”

Kruse’s knowledge of his Sharks teammates and experience on Queensland’s bigger grounds will be handy for the VAFA, where teams play on much smaller fields.

“I know how a few of the boys play and I’ve always enjoyed the bigger grounds and just running and the open space,” he said.

Kruse had a breakout year for the Sharks in 2013, as a key defender, but his coach, former NT Thunder player, Cameron Roberts, has pushed him into the middle this season.

It’s a move which is obviously paying for Kruse and the ladder-leading Uni Blacks, and one he is enjoying.

“He said ‘you’re fit enough and I want you as a bigger-bodied midfielder’,” Kruse said.

“It’s a bit more fun in the middle, to get your hands on the ball a bit more.”

Injuries have kept Kruse from contending for senior state spots in the past, an opportunity which he is excited to have now.

“It’ll be an honour to pull on the Big V,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a feather in the hat, even if it is against my home state.”

It’s been an exciting lead up for Kruse, with the team training in Collingwood’s Westpac Centre this week.

The VAFA have made a host of changes to the side that defeated the EFL in March, including bringing Kruse in, but he said he was confident in the side coming up to face the QAFL.

While his home might be in Queensland, Kruse said he was keen to take bragging rights back to Melbourne with him.

“I definitely want to put them away.”

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