Tuesday 29 March 2011

The strong theme that has emanated from Dittmer Park all season should see Mt Gravatt bounce out hard against the Gold Coast Suns in their NEAFL season-opener at Broadbeach’s H&A Oval on Saturday (12.30pm).

“We lost the first three games last year and a big emphasis this year has been getting away to a good start,” confirmed Mt Gravatt skipper Josh Vearing.

“It’s too tough a competition now to be finishing fourth or fifth and trying to make a run at it (the grand final) from there.”

The Vultures have had the biggest turnover of players of any of the ‘power’ clubs over summer, losing a number of quality experienced players, but also picking up replacements.

While the onfield leadership of a Darryl White will be missed, Vearing is looking at his departure positively.

“Him vacating opens up a spot for another young guy to come through,” he said. “We’ve got a pretty good leadership group that grooms the young kids and it’s just another good opportunity for us.”

The expansion of the competition to include games in Canberra as well as Darwin and Alice Springs does not faze the Vultures.

“A lot of the guys have had a taste of it over the last couple of years with the NT,” Vearing said. “From my own point of view I’ve travelled a little bit with my footy.

“It’s a good chance to get away and do some bonding. At the end of the day you go away to pick up four valuable points on the road.”

He added it was a positive experience for the younger players in the team.

“For the young kids, if they make it to the elite level at AFL, they know what travel is all about,” Vearing said. “It’s just another game in a different State.”

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