TAC CUP | All-star nods bolster Murray Bushrangers' confidence before grand final

Zach Sproule

Zach Sproule

SEVEN Murray Bushrangers have been named in two NAB All-Stars sides, who will play on the eve of the AFL Grand Final.

Todd Marshall, Esava Ratugolea and Max Lynch will play for the Chris Judd side, while Will Brodie, Ryan Garthwaite and Zach Sproule will line up for the Michael O’Loughlin side.

Harry Morrison was named as one of five emergencies for the O’Loughlin side, while Colingullie product Harry Perryman was named in the Judd team as well.

AFL Academy head coach Brenton Sanderson will coach the Judd team, while former Sydney great Tadgh Kennelly will coach the O’Loughlin team.

Murray Bushrangers talent manager Lee Fraser said their inclusion was a reflection of the whole team’s success in 2016.

“It’s a real showcase, if nothing else,” he said.

“The boys have had great exposure to potential recruiters throughout the year, this is just another opportunity that comes as part of playing well as a team.

“A lot of the players in this team will be at the national combine in October, hopefully that can come to fruition for them.” 

The Bushrangers, fresh from a preliminary final victory over the Oakleigh Chargers, are in the midst of preparing for the their first TAC Cup grand final since 2008.

Having put some September wobbles behind them with two straight wins in this season’s finals series, Fraser said excitement was building.

“The boys are up and about, as you’d expect heading into a grand final,” he said.

“There’s a real confidence building after they way they’ve handled the last two finals.

“They’ve had a great team focus, the way they’ve put pressure on opposition sides has been fantastic.

“They’ll get a real buzz out of playing under the roof at Etihad Stadium.

“With that said, Sandringham are a very talented side who we’ve had some great contests with this season.” 

The Bushrangers drew with the Dragons in round five, before pulling off a stunning come-from-behind win in round 15.

A light training and recovery session kicked off their grand final preparations after Saturday’s compelling win over the Oakleigh Chargers.

Albury young gun Lachlan Tiziani booted six goals in a commanding performance, while the likes of Garthwaite, Sproule and Lynch all impressed in what was one of the team’s best performances for the season.

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