AFL: Suns Ricky McClure.
AFL: Suns Ricky McClure.

It’s round one home game start for BITS Saints and the Suns

AUSSIE RULES :Footy fans in Gladstone will get a double-dose of home games in the port city and at Boyne Island in round one of the AFL Capricornia competition.

A new-look BITS Saints, under coach Rick Bean, has the chance to see how much they have improved from last season with a massive round one home game against reigning premiers Yeppoon Swans on March 28 at BITS Oval.

The day also doubles as Ladies Day at the Boyne Island club.

Over in Gladstone, the Bill Robertson Toyota Gladstone Suns play last year's surprise packets Rockhampton Brothers at Clinton Oval.

The Suns too have a new coach Adam Sutherland.

Suns president Ricky McClure said the start of the season was ultra important.

"The first two games are critical to get some momentum building before we tackle the big three of Yeppoon, Panthers then BITS," McClure said.

Gladstone Suns then travel to Rocky to tackle Glenmore Bulls in round two - the only team it beat twice last season.

The Suns are every chance to make an early mark on the competition with a 2-0 start to the season.

BITS Saints have a tough second round assignment in an away clash against last year's grand finalist Rockhampton Panthers at the Rockhampton Cricket Ground.

A win in the first two games against the two grand final teams will have the Saints surging with confidence for the remainer of the season.

Saints club president Tony Everitt said the Panthers would be tough.

New BITS Saints president Tony Everitt
New BITS Saints president Tony Everitt

"We will be taking the Panthers side lightly because they have taken the four points in a few of our recent clashes, so we will be planning for them to field a really competitive side plus let's not forget they made the grand final last year," Everitt said.

"They a young team on the up and we wont be taking the challenge lightly especially since they will have the home ground advantage. "

Everitt said there was an air of excitement at the club with an influx of quality players ready to make their mark.

"The club is really looking forward to round one and there is no better challenge than taking on the five-time reigning premier in font of a parochial home crowd," Everitt said.

"Our sole focus will be to remain competitive across the four quarters and if an upset win happened to come our way, that would be a great reward for the efforts our coaching staff and players have put in across the pre-season.

"However we are mindful this is only round one and a lot of water needs to pass under the bridge before we can get too far ahead of ourselves."

Everitt said he believed the Saints could more than match one of the great , if not the greatest teams, of the modern era of the AFL Capricornia competition.

"We are confident we have put the right measures in place to really challenge the benchmark team in our competition and that is the Yeppoon Swans," he said.

Meanwhile BITS and, at this stage the Suns, will field teams that will compete in the AFLX competition which starts on Friday night and finishes on Saturday in Rockhampton.

McClure said it depended on player availability if the Gladstone Suns would make the trip to the Beef Capital.

"At this stage we have notified the league that we will be there," he said.

"At the moment, we don't have a lot of players putting their hand up to travel up for it.

"Hopefully we get more willing to come over the next couple of days."

BITS and Suns finished fourth and fifth respectively in 2019.

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AFLX DRAW

 

Friday

6.30pm: Brothers v Glenmore

7pm: Exhibition match

7.30pm: Brothers v Panthers

 

Saturday

1.30pm: Panthers v Glenmore - women

2pm: BITS v Gladstone

2.30pm: Panthers v Glenmore - women

3pm: Gladstone v Glenmore

3.30pm: BITS v Panthers

4pm: Brothers v Gladstone

4.30pm: Glenmore v Panthers

5pm: BITS v Brothers

5.30pm: Gladstone v Panthers

6pm: Glenmore v BITS

6.45pm: GRAND FINAL - 1st v 2nd