The Queensland selectors will have a tough job trimming their 38-man squad down to a final 22 for the interstate clash between Queensland and Tasmania in Hobart on Sunday 7 June.
Former AFL players Jeff White and Robert Copeland have been included in a provisional 38-man squad for Queensland’s interstate clash with Tasmania in Hobart on June 7.
The duo amassed more than 400 AFL games between them, with White joining the Redland Bombers and Copeland the Aspley Hornets in the QAFL Velocity Sports Cup this season.
White has been close to best afield in each of Redland’s last three games, while Copeland has been playing a half-forward role for Aspley.
“When our State coach Jason Cotter contacted Jeff White to give him information about our program like he does with any player who is new to our competition, he was so pleased with Jeff’s response,” said chairman of selectors Martin King.
“Jeff has a love and passion for the game, which is just fantastic.”
While Copeland’s form has not been as outstanding, the born-and-bred Queenslander will wear the jumper as a badge of honour.
“We see a role for him in the team and we are very confident that he will be a strong contributor,” King said.
The selectors have also included a number of young players in the squad who, if given an opportunity in the final 22, would have a chance to impress in the same manner as Rohan Bail did last year.
Bail was drafted by Melbourne after adapting well to the speed of interstate football representing Queensland against WA in Townsville last June.
Ryan Holman, Jack Lawler, Adam Mueller, Daniel Savage and Shaun Tapp will all press for places in the traveling party.
Perennial competition powerhouses Southport and Morningside have the largest representation in the squad, which trains for the first time at Beenleigh on Wednesday night.
Former Geelong premiership player Nathan Ablett was not included in the squad, having played two games for Broadbeach after more than 18 months away from the game.
“Nathan’s form did not warrant selection and I am sure he would agree with that,” King said.
“All of the players chosen in the provisional squad have been leading players in the competition this season.
“We have a lot of hard-nosed midfielders in the squad at the moment, but a lot can happen between now and June 7”
Six players from the NT Thunder are in the provisional squad, but work commitments and an arduous travel factor will weigh heavily in the players’ final availability.
The Darwin-based Thunder players will have been on the road for five consecutive weeks leading into the game, and those making the final 22 will be required to attend the last training session on the Thursday night before the game.
“All six have shown a real keenness to play,” King said.
The Queensland squad is: Robert Copeland, Lucas Matthews, Shaun Tapp (Aspley); Ben Walters (Broadbeach); Matt Clarke (Labrador); Kent Abey, Jacob Gough, Ryan Holman, Nathan Kinch, Jack Lawler, David Lillico, Austin Lucy, Paul Shelton (Morningside); Nathan Gilliland, Daniel Savage, Tom Tarrant, Josh Vearing (Mt Gravatt); Darren Ewing, Cameron Illett, Jarred Illett, Peter MacFarlane, Mark McLean, Marty Smith (NT Thunder); Phil Carse, James Charlesworth, Jason Eagle, Anthony Marguccio, Adam Mueller, Josh Norman, Jeff White (Redland); Jason Burge, Ben Caputi, Justin Kahlefeldt, Broc McCauley, Kurt Niklaus, Darren OÃ¢ÂÂBrien, Daniel Wise, Justin Wilson (Southport).