Ararat's Adam Haslett and Riley Taylor to fly flag for Rats

Adam Haslett and Riley Taylor will represent Ararat when the Wimmera league clashes with Bellarine Football League at Horsham City Oval on Saturday.

Coach Shayne Breuer said strong numbers on the track and a wealth of talent to select from will hold his side in good stead.

“We’ve had in excess of 30 players on the track at each of our Wednesday training sessions which has made picking the squad much simpler,” he said.

“There has been some injuries in recent weeks but the number of quality players that have been at our disposal means that I’m still very happy with what we have available.”

The side will be captained by Ryan McKenzie with Alexander McRae and John Woods acting as his deputies.

McKenzie is one of five coaches selected in the side meaning there will be no shortage of on-field leadership.

“You can add into that a heap of assistant coaches and captains as well,” Breuer said.

“That leadership will be really important for some of the younger players.”

Breuer said he was excited to finally see the team play.

“During training we’ve seen some real quality on the track and everything just goes up another level come game day,” he said. “The intensity and the skill levels goes up in interleague and that’s what I’m looking forward to. We’re going to have a game that is at a level that we don’t necessarily see all that often and its great to have it locally.”

He said winning the contested football would be key in the encounter just as it is in any other game.

“We need to get our hands on the football first in the middle because I expect the skill level around the ground to be really top class,” he said.

“We’ve had a couple of guys doing some research on the opposition for us but we know that we will need to be keeping an eye on everyone.

“You just need to look at our side to know that there is guys across the board in every position that can break the game open. If you start to stress about just a couple of players then there will be somebody else that will step up.”

A development group has been training alongside the senior Wimmera league players fighting for selection. 

Breuer said the league would benefit from the decision in coming seasons.

“It’s been absolutely tremendous,” he said. “You can see they all enjoyed it and they all really stood up at another level. The purpose was to give them an idea of what it takes and they haven’t looked out of place.”