The Queensland squad has been hard-hit by injuries on the eve of the Landmark Australian Country Football Championships in Canberra on Thursday.

Monday 19 July 2010

Queensland have been hit by a spate of injuries in the lead up to the 2010 Landmark Australian Country Football Championships.

Having been elevated to First Division for the first time in more than a decade, the injury problems could not have come at a worse time.

Redland ace Josh Norman, who played open State football for Queensland in Hobart last year, rolled an ankle yesterday and is the latest key player in doubt.

As a product of Caloundra, Norman is eligible for one of seven spots open to ex-country players now in the QAFL.

Equally as crucial was an injury to Cairns Saints full-forward Matthew Walsh over the weekend.

It led the selectors to revise an ever-changing squad again, with the final list expected to be announced shortly.

Queensland will play every other State in a competition featuring drastically reduced game times.

“We’re using a new structure for the competition this year and for the first time all the teams will have the chance to play each other,” said  Australian Country Football Council president Glenn Scott.

Each will play six games over the first two days – this Thursday and Friday) with each game consisting of two, 17 and a half minute halves – making for some fast and frantic football.

“The grounds in Canberra are situated 20 minutes apart, so scheduling was a little tricky,” Scott said.

“To make the competition as fair as possible, we’ve ranked the seven teams according to their finishing positions in the 2008 carnival.

“In order for the event to run smoothly the seventh ranked team – being the Victorian district league team – will play four games on the first day and two on the second unlike the other teams who will play three games on each of the first two days.

“The positive of this draw is that by five o’clock on Friday afternoon, all the teams have played each other and we have an accurate picture of where each team stands.”

“On Sunday, the top two teams will play off in a full game finals format to determine who’ll be crowned the Australian Country Football Champions.

“The other teams will also feature on finals day and be able to compete for the highest ranking possible with third and fourth playing each other in a full game, while fifth, sixth and seventh will play each other in games of two, 20 minute halves to decide the rankings for the 2012 carnival.”

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