The arrival of the June long weekend brings the annual Limestone Coast Regional Carnival to life and some exhilarating interleague action will entertain all those who flock to Kongorong this Saturday.
For the first time in three years, the Western Border Football League will not lift the Limestone Coast Regional Carnival aloft and the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League is desperate to get its hands back on the crown.
The two leagues shared the title from 2014 to 19 before last year’s change of format where the Western Border reigned supreme over the Mid South East.
This year the KNTFL travels to Kongorong to take on the MSEFL and it’s a golden opportunity to regain some bragging rights.
It will all come down to one full game this Saturday afternoon and after missing out on the interleague action for three years, KNTFL coach and Mundulla stalwart Nick Davies said his team is eager for the clash.
“It is exciting because it has been three years since we have played, so everyone is keen to get back at it and have a test against Mid South East,” he said.
“A lot of the younger locals in particular were quick to put their hands up and represent the league.
“It will be great to have a full game again and all the players are keen for it because we can walk our way through four quarters instead of having short and condensed games.”
In a sign of confidence, the KNTFL needed little time to settle on a squad and named a 24-player outfit Sunday night with all nine clubs represented.
Big names such as Rory Tink, Jake McGrice and Matt Willson form the engine room, while Under 21 players Jack Guy and Campbell Watts will form the backline alongside Tom Gaden.
The forward line will be spearheaded by Padthaway power forward Tobin Cox, who has kicked 34 goals in seven games including a huge nine-goal haul against the undefeated Lucindale.
Davies said he is pleased with how it has come up with a nice mix of locals and travelers.
“We have a fairly handy side,” he said.
“We had the usual few from Adelaide that were not available for selection, but there are sill a couple making the trip down and a good group of locals.
“It is a pretty even team with a strong midfield, but having Tobin Cox down forward will be helpful and getting the opportunity coach him instead of coaching against will be good.”
One of the biggest challenges for the KNTFL team will be its unfamiliarity to the matchday environment with none of its players having played at Kongorong before, while it has been three years since they have faced the Mid South Eastern team.
Davies is bracing himself for an arm wrestle.
“From experience over the years the Mid South East like to play a very close congested style of play, so we are expecting that type of game,” he said.
“Hopefully we can match them in the contested footy, which you would think be their strength and see how we go if we can get the ball on the outside.”