By STEVE MENZIES
Individual battles within the overall contest of the contest will highlight the game between Federal Club Eastside and Rovers Complete Construction this evening.
Players from both sides look forward to these games as it pits them against the best and so brings out their best.
However a clash with the stage two selection trials for the NT 19-and-under and 17-and-under teams has robbed this game of six of the best young talents in town.
Five of the sextet – Brooke and Carly Wilson, Ellie Herbert, Ailis Nolan and Matilda Baldwin – are members of the Federal A-Grade squad. The sixth is Rovers’ star Lucy Nicolai.
Federal captain Tahlia Lee said there were at least three others unavailable, Simone Tribe, Phoebe Wilcox and Lauren Hunter but did not want to reschedule the game when the players were available.
This will mean that a number of players, including Lee, will double up playing in the As and Reserves.
“We will have a changed combination with so many of our A/A-Reserve squad unavailable,” she said.
“But we will be right and I look forward to another good contest.
“I was surprised we beat them by so much, 20 goals, when we played in round one.
“It will be a closer game on Friday.”
While the absence of Nicolai will be a blow to Rovers, it will be easier to cover this loss with Lauren Parai possibly moving back to wing defence and captain Shannan King to play at centre.
Losing Carly Wilson and Tribe will leave Federal without the shooters who have served the side so well in the first four weeks while Wilcox was a driving force in the 56-38 win in week two.
There will be a lot of interest in how Rovers recruit Wendy Stafford will perform, after scoring 44 goals last week, against the Federal defence led by Lee
Wests A-Grade has a bye this week.
Coach Tahlia O’Cass will be able to have a good look at the players in the club who could help lift the A-Grade team as Wests Gillen play Wests Epilogue in the A-Reserves from 7.15pm.
Federal will also have an inter club clash in the Reserves with Federal Club Eastside meeting Federal Office National Angels from 8.30pm.
There will be plenty of interest in the 6pm A-Reserves game with Neats Glass Giants playing Rovers complete Construction.
The two B grades, C grade and 17-and-under will play during the evening with the juniors 8-and-under (9am), 10-and-under (9am), 11-and-under (10am), 13-and-under (11am) and 15-and-under (noon) playing on Saturday.