Old and new Raiders to tackle Comets

By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

A BLEND of the old and the new permeates through the Gladstone Raiders squad for Friday night's trial clash with the Central Comets at Marley Brown Oval.

Close to half of the 25-man squad named by coach Aaron Farrar will pull on the Raiders jersey for the first time in the much-anticipated clash.

Included in that list are Biloela quartet Shannon Jaques, Darren Fisher, Jason Horn and Michael Thaiday, Tannum Sands recruit Andrew Cooke and Wallabys back Grant Stokes.

Also featuring in the squad are regular representatives such as Farrar, Garry Brown and Brothers star Russell Groth.

Therefore it is no surprise coach Farrar is pleased with the squad and looking forward to a committed display.

'I am very happy with the squad we have and I am expecting a big effort from the guys on Friday,' Farrar said.

'Everyone in the squad is keen to perform well and do their best for the pride of Gladstone and the jumper.'

Farrar is under no illusions at the size of the Raiders challenge, but believes the format of the match, which will be played in four 20-minute quarters, is only going to benefit his team.

'There is no doubt it is a David versus Goliath match, but that doesn't mean we are going to take a backward step,' he said.

'With the match in 20-minute quarters, that will help us because their fitness is going to be better than ours.

'One thing is for sure, the guys understand we are representing the city and will be giving it our best shot.'

Raiders squad: Grant Stokes, Chris Butler, Matt Baker, Ashley Dodd, Graham Warde, Garry Brown, Aaron Farrar, Sheldon Row Row, Dan Kerr, Dan Gourley, Dan Beahan (Wallabys) Russell Groth, Will Jarvis, Clint Doherty, Trevor Huth, Nathan Cameron, Dean O'Dowd (Brothers), Jason Horn, Darren Fisher, Shannon Jaques, Anthony Munns, Ben Masters, Michael Thaiday, Wayne Sills (Biloela), Andrew Cooke (Tannum Sands).

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