Lightning Cup battle

Broken Hill footballers Jake Borlace (left), Josh Cieslik, Mark Purcell, Josh Gilby, Emma Cullen, Shae Nevill, Paige Cuy and Jacinta Barraclough. PICTURE: ANDREW LODIONG

The AFL Broken Hill season will kick off today with all four clubs battling it out for the Lightning Cup.

North Football Club men’s captain, Jake Borlace, said the Cup will be a good starting point and feels his side is in shape.

“Everyone’s excited to hopefully get a full season in, so looking forward to it,” he said.

“We’ve had two trial games so far before the Lightening Cup and I think we are all there. It’s been a pretty solid preseason and it’s looking pretty good overall.”

Josh Cieslik of West Football Club said his team were looking forward to the tournament and winning it would bode well for the upcoming campaign.

“For sure, I will put us in a good spot for the year so we’ll see what happens,” he said.

Cieslik said today’s games can still be used as a benchmark despite having a few players out.

South Football Club’s Mark Purcell will sit out the tournament this year but will still be there to support his teammates.

“I’m looking forward to watch the young fellas have a go and a couple of new people get a bit of a run,” Purcell said.

“It’s a good for match fitness, you can’t simulate actually playing against an opponent so I think it’ll be good for the boys.

Central Football Club A grade caption, Josh Gilby, said he wants to see how the new squad members integrate.

“We’ve had an influx of new players so pretty excited to see how the teams going to gel,” he said.

“All these players that have come in we’ve made them feel welcome and the morale is up already but once we start the games it’ll jump up to another level.”

Gilby said taking the Cup will be an “extra boost” to his side’s confidence for the 2022 season.

The women’s games will be competitive with each team using the curtain-raiser to build spirit and test different position combinations.

“We have quite a number of new players so I’m looking forward to seeing them ease into the game hopefully and get around each taking advantage of that new dynamic,” South’s Shae Nevill said.

“Hopefully that would set us in good stead for the rest of the year.”

West senior player Paige Cuy believes the games will be a tight contest.

“For anyone that comes out winners will be good going into the season,” Cuy said.

“We will take it one game at a time. There are a few new players this season so we’ll move them around in different positions to see what works.”

Central’s new recruit, Emma Cullen, said it’ll be a significant moment for her development.

“I’m expecting really good games between the clubs and it’s going to be really great day,” she said.

“I’ve heard many things about the competition, there’s a lot of rivalry but everyone seems to be good mates so I’m really excited to sort of become part of that.”

North FC’s Jacinta Barraclough said the Cup would add to what’s been a good preseason for her side.

“We’ve done pretty well so far to keep the squad together and really involve our new girls and get them upskilled as quickly as we can,” she said.

“It will be interesting to see how all the clubs with their new players and make it a fair game across the field.”

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