Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stanley looking for back-to-back in GF sprint

ST KILDA ruckman Rhys Stanley will attempt to become the first player in six years to win back-to-back grand final sprints when he takes to the field for Saturday’s half time race.

The 19-year-old won the dash last year and is poised to replicate the feat of Fremantle midfielder James Walker, who claimed the title in 2003 and 2004.

To get there, he’ll have to beat a competitive outfit of pacy options over the line headed by Danyle Pearce (Port Adelaide), Ben Nason (Richmond) and Lewis Jetta (Sydney Swans).

The Gold Coast Suns and GWS will also be represented by Trent McKenzie and Tim Golds.

McKenzie was the quickest player over 20m to go through the AIS program in 2009 while Golds held school records over 400m.

The Saints’ grand final opponent Collingwood will be represented by midfielder Ryan Cook,  while Adelaide midfielder Richard Douglas will be looking to continue his winning form after recently claiming his club’s best and fairest.

Jack Redden (Brisbane Lions), Jake Melksham (Essendon), Liam Anthony (North Melbourne) and Jack Watts (Melbourne) have had four weeks to practice their technique over 100m after their teams missed the finals.

Carlton’s Marc Murphy, Hawthorn’s Ben Stratton and Fremantle’s Garrick Ibbotson have had less time to prepare while the Western Bulldogs’ Liam Picken may have been their only option after nearly half their preliminary final side was booked in for post-season surgery.

However, the biggest (no pun intended) threat to Stanley’s reign could come in the form of a fellow big man, with West Coast ruckman Dean Cox to make the trip across the Nullarbor to face off for the title.

Geelong is yet to name its participant, with Mitch Duncan to be replaced due to injury.


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