South QLD gearing up for rep derby

By Beth newman

From day one, there was no doubt that the South Queensland team would be raring for this Sunday’s match against North Queensland.

Coach, Mitch Ferguson, back with the whistle after six months out of a senior coaching position, was chomping at the bit from the first training session, arriving more than an hour early.

“I’ve had my break and it’s an opportunity to stay connected to the footy world,” he said.

With the squad covering Bundaberg, Wide Bay and the Darling downs region as well as the QFA and QAFA competitions, just attending training showed the players’ commitment.

Goondiwindi teammates, David O’Toole and Jeremy Leahy, travelled four and a half hours just to be a part of that first session, but travel is nothing new to them, Leahy said.

“Every time we play an away game, it’s at least two hours’ travelling, so you get used to it,” he said.

“Doing it is not a problem, when you’re with mates and you love your footy.”

Leahy said he was honoured to be a part of the 42-man squad, training alongside some of the state’s most talented footballers.

“I’m happy just being selected in the 42-man squad to start with,” he said.

“It’s  a pretty good feeling to play with those the guys, so if anything else comes from it, would be a massive bonus.”

Ferguson was visibly excited to join with assistant coaches and bring together players from across the South-East corner.

“We all love football,” he said.

“We might be belting each other on the weekend but we’re here to represent the competition and the feeling is really good.

Ferguson knows their opposition will be tough, having spent time in Cairns previously.

“They are pumped to knock us off,” he said.

“They’re going to be very strong.”

Mayne’s Caleb Brown will captain the South Queensland side, to take on North Queensland on Sunday as part of the State Triple Header.

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