The Stags' Josh Ryan takes down a Palmwoods player in May.
The Stags' Josh Ryan takes down a Palmwoods player in May. Contributed

Stags on track for play-offs

DEFEATED only once this season, the Mary Valley Stags are on track for a finals play-off.

Second-placed Stags will play at Kandanga tomorrow against Palmwoods, sitting in ninth position.

The match will see the first game of competition football in Kandanga since the 1960s.

It has been a long time coming, said Stags treasurer Jenny Carlson.

She said the team had worked with the Kandanga Hotel, Gympie Regional Council, local soccer club and Friends of Kandanga for a year to get the game in Kandanga.

“We wanted to take football right across the Valley, to revitalise the Valley, since the dam decimated it. Businesses have closed and people have left. Kandanga was probably the worst hit, it’s just a skeleton of a town,” she said.

With the return of competition football Mrs Carlson hopes momentum and people will return also.

“We’re just trying to make the area work.”

Saturday’s game will be a single-header.

“We anticipate a favourable game for us.”

Carlson said the Stags were fairly motivated.

“They want to win this year. They’re fit and have been training really hard.

“They’re enthusiastic, theire heart's in the valley, they grew up here and wanted this team.

“They’ve done us proud.”

Carlson said hooker Josh Ryan and lock Troy Carlson were the side’s key players and the ones to watch on-field.

But the points this year had been widespread.

Centre Brendan Hunter had been instrumental along with five-eighth Josh Heck, second-rower Jason Johnson, winger Cameron Waugh and half-back/coach Chad Parker.

Parker said leading into the finals the team had been working on their defence, but otherwise training was “business as usual”.

When the team last took on Palmwoods, in a rainy match, the Stags had a comfortable win.

“We’re feeling pretty confident but they’ve got a handy half-back,” Parker said.

“Our strength is our enthusiasm. We want to win for each other.”

In two weeks the Stags will take on first-placed Yandina in a double header at Kandanga – that top-of-the-ladder clash is sure to be a big one.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 2pm at Kandanga’s Jack Spicer Oval.

Gympie Times


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