IT’S hard enough as it is for Ryan Richardson to select Kiewa-Sandy Creek’s team each week.
The Hawks are flying.
The fact most names appear twice on his magnet board only adds to the difficulty.
A lot of footballers consider themselves “brothers” with their teammates.
At Kiewa-Sandy Creek — most of them actually are.
There’s Dane and Tim Hallinan, Adam and Guy Telford, Chris and Marc Lewis, Ryan and Brad Wallace and Jack and Will Andrew.
It doesn’t stop there.
Jason and Scott Bartel are cousins, as are Cal and Trent Turner, with Kelvin Wallace related to Ryan and Brad.
Jye and Kane Shields are also brothers.
It’s like it was planned.
Actually, it was.
“We’ve really worked on getting them all back playing at the club over the past few years,” Richardson said.
“It’s something we’ve been pretty big on.
“Apart from Adam and Guy, who have been here a few years now, they’re all from Kiewa, basically.”
The Hawks’ coach said there was no doubt the family connection had its advantages out on the ground.
“I reckon they thrive on it,” he said.
“At the end of the day, they’re all really good mates who know each other inside and out and you can tell that in the way they play.
“Apart of them being brothers, they’re all really close and have that mentality which is what we wanted to build.”
Richardson will be hoping that plays in the Hawks’ favour in Saturday’s second semi-final against Thurgoona.
In an added boost, Richardson will have every player on his list available for the first time this year.
Malcolm Vogel and Marc Hortle are available for selection, with Leigh Cameron to return from a three-game suspension.
“We’ll be at full strength for the first time all year, which is exciting,” Richardson said.
“But it’s going to be tough.
“We can’t fit them all in.
“They’re all in good form, too, which makes it even harder.
“As a club, we want to get both teams into grand finals and we think this is our best chance to do it.
“Everything is starting to click.
“But, as I said, we know how hard it will be.”