Exciting mix for clash of leagues

LEXTON Plains and Maryborough Castlemaine District will both field an exciting mix of youth and experience in this weekend's senior interleague clash at Eastern Oval.

Wayne Driscoll (LPFL) and Tony Bellenger (MCDFL) were on hand to discuss the showdown at yesterday's media conference in Ballarat, with both coaches believing they would field well-balanced line-ups on Saturday.

Driscoll, who is current president and player with Navarre, said his final team would be cut from 30 following training tomorrow night.

"I will be looking at us being pretty hard at it and (having) a lot of good run, particularly off the half-back line," Driscoll said.

"A well balanced side is what I think we have been able to put together.

"We start at 20 (years) and work up. There is a bit of experience, no doubt, but there is five or six younger boys with a fair bit of run."

Driscoll said Tom Mullane-Grant would not be part of this weekend's team after the 24 year-old was selected in the VCFL district state team, who will also play on Saturday.

"We won't have him (Mullane-Grant) at full forward," Driscoll said.

"Fifty-seven goals in seven games is going to be difficult to replace."

Driscoll expected a fast-paced clash between the two teams.

"The tempo will be increased, the intensity will be increased and the decision making needs to be better," he said.

"You don't have the time factor that you would have in club games. We have emphasised that pretty heavily as well."

LPFL will field decorated player Kiernan Molloy, who has represented the BFL on a number of occasions at interleague level.

Bellenger, who remains in doubt of playing due to a knee injury, hoped stars Julian Field and Shannon Motlop would be able to guide his younger players to victory this weekend. Field is a JJ Liston Trophy winner who has returned to old club Avoca, while Motlop (Dunolly) is a 1999 North Melbourne premiership player who played more than 50 games at the elite level.

"We have got a lot of youth - guys who are 17, 18 or 19 - so we will be expecting a lot of run from those blokes," Bellenger said.

"Our strengths will be from our experienced guys like Field and Motlop who have played at higher levels."

Bellenger said a number of his younger players had played in major leagues in the past and were experienced footballers.

"Being younger they have still got that experience," he said.

"I think that could be the key on Saturday.

Bellenger believed the likely wet conditions could favour his team.

"The way the conditions are it could be wet and greasy," he said.

"Hopefully the ball is on the ground a fair bit."

Maryborough Castlemaine District will complete its team following tonight's training session. Both teams have trained on the past three Sundays.

The senior clash will take place from 2.30pm at Ballarat's Eastern Oval.

Ballarat Courier Photograph: SHOWDOWN: Lexton Plains coach Wayne Driscoll, left, and Maryborough Castlemaine District coach Tony Bellenger compare the merits of their teams yesterday ahead of Saturday's interleague clash at Eastern Oval.


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