MURRAY league coach Scott Beattie has warned Sunraysia to expect a prouder, stronger and better prepared representative squad this Saturday than the one that lost by 100 points two years ago.
The Murray league is out for redemption in AFL Victoria Country’s 9 v 10 battle at Mildura.
Sunraysia belted Murray 145-45 two years ago but Beattie, who played in that game, said the league’s attitude towards interleague had improved greatly since that day.
“We’ve learned from our mistakes,” Echuca United coach Beattie said.
“That’s no disrespect to anybody involved that year but we were massively underprepared and had everything go against us.
“We knew nothing about the opposition, the weather was poor and we had to make that massive trip to play a strong Sunraysia side.
“We never came to play.”
Beattie said that wouldn’t be the case on Saturday.
“The way things have gone at training, I’ve got no reason to doubt we won’t get anything other than a first-class performance from our guys,” he said.
“There is a bit of prestige wearing a Murray league jumper again, which is great.
“I think we’ve turned a corner.”
While a handful of big names are unavailable, Beattie isn’t concerned.
“We’ve put together a far different squad to the one that went up there last time,” he said.
“We don’t have all the big names, but in saying that, not all our big names are in form.
“We’re taking guys who are playing well and have got confidence.”
The Murray league trained last night, with the final 22 still to be picked.
In an interesting prospect, the Murray league could face off against its high profile neighbour Ovens and Murray next year, should the former win on Saturday and O and M suffer a shock loss to the Hampden league in the 5 v 6 match at Wangaratta.