When the full time whistle blew on the 2016 instalment of the annual Beach versus Bush Hastings League clash, it was three successive wins for latter as they recorded a comprehensive 30-10 victory.
New captain-coach of Beach, Bo Wilson, has a wealth of experience in the Hastings League both as a player and captain.
This year has taken on the additional role and has selected a team he feels can finally claim the shield.
“We have a fair few new faces. It’s probably a side with heaps of experience in the legs,” he said.
“I tried to pick a mobile side, a mobile forward pack and we’re confident in what we’ve got.
“We have a good spread of talent. I’ve tried to change up the style of footy we play a bit more.
“We tried to combat the Bush side as an even match in the middle, but this year I’ve changed things up and will work to tire them out a bit.”
The team includes a mix of Laurieton, Lower Macleay and South West Rocks players while Bush features talent from Kendall, Comboyne and Long Flat.
It is the showcase for Hastings League, as the best of the best clash. And Wilson said the level of football is equal to group football.
“I would say six or seven years ago we were behind group, but there are a lot of those players playing in the Hastings League now,” he said.
His counterpart, Bush captain Beau Kettle who happens to be a former first grade group footballer himself, agreed.
“I find against the top teams like Comboyne, the standard of football isn’t bad,” he said.
“It’s very challenging. There are blokes in our side that should be playing group 3, same with other players in the competition.”
It will be Kettles first time playing in the special fixture and he is looking forward to testing himself against the best.
“To have the best of the best facing off against each other, it’s going to be a really good match,” he said.
“The Beach side have picked a really strong side, and the whole standard of football all day will be great. It won’t be any different to a Sunday Group 3 match in my opinion.”
The match will kick off at 3pm at the Lank Bain Sports Complex, Wauchope. It will follow the Hastings League Chairman’s rep team versus the Aboriginal Representative Hastings League Team.
Last year it was the Chairman’s team coming out on top, but the Aboriginal team have an ace up their sleeve with Jilaroos halfback Simone Smith the assistant coach. Chris Hudson is taking the reigns of the Chairman’s team, and above Smith as head coach is former Wauchope Blues first grade coach Jason Holland.