The Gap to test teams’ skill
STANTHORPE men's representative teams will face their "toughest test" yet when they host The Gap at Inter Club on Saturday.
Two local teams will raise the curtain for a great afternoon of football, with the U15 Stanthorpe boys playing the women's representative side.
The big match between Stanthorpe's A-grade representative team and The Gap's Brisbane Capital League premiers outfit will be played at 7pm.
Stanthorpe men's coach Steve McEvoy said his team would be meeting The Gap just as players were hitting their strides.
"The Gap are two weeks from their season opener and are peaking for a strong start to their campaign," he said.
"They have been training since December and are fit, fast and ready to go - our guys just have to work hard and match them.
"Without doubt this will be the boys' toughest test."
McEvoy is hoping a strong performance against the Musgrave Mustangs earlier this month will bolster the Stanthorpe team.
"We certainly have improved as the weeks have gone on and the players are starting to gel well. This will tell us where we are at," he said.
The local lads will be up against the likes of The Gap captain Cormac Molloy, who narrowly missed out on representing Ireland and enjoyed a celebrated career with Irish Club Saint Michaels and Kilkenny FC.
Another one to watch will be Tom Payne, who played for Plymouth Argyle - currently in the English League two division.
A regular visitor to the Stanthorpe Races, The Gap coach Greg Bradley is hoping his team will have more luck than he has had at Armstrong Park.
"We have a versatile side with a couple of Irish lads certainly bolstering our squad.
"I was very keen to get the guys up here pre-season to play against the locals as I heard they are a handy side - we will see come Saturday," he said.
It doesn't get any easier for Stanthorpe's second 11, set to play The Gap's reserve grade team, which also won the premiership and grand final in their grade last year.
The young team played well at the Gold Coast a few weeks ago, but will need to pull together for a more challenging game on Saturday.