FORMER Richmond, North Melbourne and West Coast Eagles forward Aaron Edwards has cut short his Bali holiday so that he can represent his league at the country championships this weekend.
Edwards had organised to go to Bali for a week, leaving last Sunday straight after the game against Frankston YCW, return on Saturday morning to play against Ovens and Murray.
However, upon hearing that the team was travelling together by bus to Albury on Friday, Edwards rearranged his flights to ensure that he could join the team on the bus.
Peninsula Division chairman of selectors, John Hynes, who played at Carlton, captained Frankston Dolphins and coached Edithvale-Aspendale, said Edwards’ commitment typified the dedication of the group in 2015.
“The reality is that we were embarrassed by Geelong FL last season and we all learned lessons from that, from the top at league level right through to the players,” Hynes said.
“We have picked a large squad and the commitment level of them cannot be faltered.
“A leadership group pretty much picked itself and they have driven the culture among the group – Aaron (Edwards) is one of those, along with the likes of Ricki Johnston and Warwick Miller.
“The reality is that Peninsula Division is in the best three leagues in the state. If we lose this match, we drop to five or six, which isn’t good for us.
“The players are committed to the cause and we will pick the absolutly strongest team we can.
“The likes of Lachy Wallace and Rourke Fischer (Collingwood VFL) are both right to go and we have some Frankston Dolphins who have filtered back.
“Unfortunately we don’t have the likes of Ash Eames, Jimmy Messina and Anthony Barry (all injured) and Michael Gay (family holiday) but you can be assured we’ll be the best possible team.
“That hasn’t always been the case in the past few years, despite the fact we have recorded some good results,” Hynes said.
Nepean Division coach Ben Holmes said he too was excited about the commitment level of his charges.
“We picked a squad of around 70 and we have had 40-plus on the track every training session. That doesn’t include the guys who don’t train because they are a bit sore but come to training anyway,” Holmes said.
“The commitment level is fantastic this year and I think the players, coaches and clubs need to take the credit.
“We’re all looking forward to improving our ranking and breaking into that top 10,” Holmes said.