Swans Academy Head Coach Michael O’Loughlin said it will be a historic moment for the NSW/ACT RAMS when they take on the Dandenong Stingrays this Saturday.
sydneyswans.com.au - Tanya Paolucci
The NSW/ACT Rams will travel down to Melbourne to take on the Dandenong Stingrays in their first TAC Cup match of 2014 this Saturday afternoon.
The match, which will be played at Dandenong’s Shepley Oval, is the first of seven games the Rams will play in this year’s TAC Cup competition.
The Rams will face a Stingrays side, who currently sit at 2-2, but produced a strong victory over the Bendigo Pioneers a fortnight ago and fell just short in a tough battle with the Western Jets last weekend.
The Rams, who are made up of players from both the QBE Sydney Swans Academy and the GWS Academy, will also head into the contest with some confidence after defeating a Vic Country representative side by two points over the Easter long weekend.
Swans Academy Head Coach Michael O’Loughlin said the Rams’ tough battle with Vic Country was the perfect preparation for their clash against Dandenong.
“They played against the Vic Country team and had a great win,” he said.
“To be able to go on and win that game was a real confidence booster, and was a terrific preparation for this week’s game.”
It’s been more than a decade since the Rams took part in the TAC Cup, with the team last playing in the premier under-18 competition in 2002.
O’Loughlin said the Rams’ inclusion in this year’s TAC Cup was a landmark time for football in New South Wales.
“The significance of this is really important because it’s such a historic event where it was more than 10 years ago now that the last Rams side played down in Victoria in that competition,” O’Loughlin said.
“These guys have got a little bit of a responsibility to make sure that they prepare well and that they turn up and play well.”
O’Loughlin said Saturday’s match, as well as the Rams’ six other appearances in Victoria this year, would be the perfect opportunity to show off some of the state’s finest young footballers.
“It’s a real boost for NSW because it puts our players in front of the eyes of the AFL recruiters who are based down in Victoria,” he said.
“It’s been tough having the boys playing in the local Sydney league when recruiters would probably say that it’s not the strongest competition.
“There are no excuses now, they’ll get to see our lads play and they’ll be able to see them on a pretty regular basis.
“It’s great news all round for football in NSW that this is happening.”
NSW/ACT Rams vs Dandenong Stingrays
Saturday May 3, 12:00pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong
1 Jesse Mudge (St George)
3 Jarrod Thompson (Queanbeyan)
5 Brad Watson (Pennant Hills)
6 Nicholas Foster (North Shore)
7 Oliver Wetzler (Sydney Uni)
9 Jordan Foote (UNSW-Easts)
10 Liam Griffiths (Ainslie)
11 Zachary Fyffe (North Shore)
13 Jack Hiscox (Sydney Uni)
14 Michael Mattingly (Corowa-Rutherglen)
15 Jack Campbell (North Shore)
18 Callum Mills (North Shore)
19 Isaac Heeney (Cardiff)
20 Jack Steele (Belconnen)
21 Tom Faul (Ainslie)
23 Michael Dickson (UNSW-Easts)
25 Nathan Vaisey (Nelson Bay)
26 Sam Askew (Eastlake)
30 Abaina Davis (UNSW-Easts)
32 Matthew Wilson (Maroubra)
54 Logan Austin (Belconnen)
57 William Muir (Ainslie)
58 Matthew Flynn (Narrandera)