Youth, experience combine in squad

The Otago Country Premier squad has been selected and is in training for its upcoming representative season.

The squad, coached by Marty Hurring and Lee Allan, is made up of 34 players, 11 from the Southern competition and 23 from Central.

There is a good mix of experience and there are plenty of new faces to add a fresh look to the squad.

The forward pack is big and mobile. Southern props Ben Millar and Chris Preddy are new to the squad but showed their class for their clubs all season.

For experience, look no further than Country stalwart Aiden Winter. Winter is returning after another solid year for Arrowtown.

Clutha hard man Rym Geary and Heriot rake Craig Stanway will add further experience and will be great role models for the younger players.

The forward pack boasts plenty of excitement. Loose forwards Sam Calder (Upper Clutha) and Josh Brown (Wakatipu) are playing some very good footy at the moment. Their skill at the breakdown and with ball in hand is exceptional.

The halves are young and exciting. Halfback Ben Maxwell and pivots Rhys Harrold and Dane Edge are all familiar with each other, having played for Cromwell this season.

The inside backs are strong, hard running players who, as a defensive unit, will be very hard to crack. The Cromwell duo of Warwick Chinny and Hayden Todd get an opportunity at this level to show their class, while Angus Gibb and Jonny Sargent have been there before and know the ropes.

The outside backs show plenty of pace and flair. Arrowtown players Tom Grandiek and Ryan Edgeton are rewarded for stellar seasons. Clutha pair of Tyler Bichan and Robin Fesilafai are solid and reliable and Upper Clutha's George Gilchrist is an excitement machine.`

-By Francis Parker

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