AFL clash a derby with a difference

DYNAMIC DUO: Javy Sarere and Peter Nuku hope to give their BITS team some zip around the packs in today's twilight clash against Gladstone Mudcrabs.
DYNAMIC DUO: Javy Sarere and Peter Nuku hope to give their BITS team some zip around the packs in today's twilight clash against Gladstone Mudcrabs. Nick Kossatch GLA070717SOLOMONIS

AUSSIE RULES: Coming from a small village near the Solomon Islands' capital city of Honiara, two of BITS Saints' latest recruits hope they will be a part of an AFL exchange program.

Peter Nuku and Javy Sarere are the first of many in what Saints coach Alan Watkin hopes can be established moving forward.

"I have a contact of mine via the Australian consulate and an AFL program that they run over there at the Solomon Islands," Watkin said.

"The idea is like an exchange program so that the Solomon players stay here for three months before taking back what they have learnt here to back home."

Watkin hopes the pacy pair can add something different to the BITS team against a desperate Mudcrabs in tomorrow's twilight match at Clinton Oval from 4.55pm.

"Peter is a quality decision maker that backs it up with quality skills," Watkin said.

"He played seniors for Palm Beach Currumbin a few years ago and from all reports came on in leaps and bounds after that experience.

"Peter has good leadership qualities and often controls the play across the middle of the ground during scratch matches."

Sarere, 20, represented the South Pacific side and is a live-wire forward pocket.

"A combination of pace, an explosive leap, and stealth-like evasive skills makes him a dangerous forward," Watkin described.

A man of very few words, Sarere models his game on Fremantle Dockers star Michael Walters while his fellow countryman Nuku, 22, idolises Sydney Swans star Lance 'Buddy' Franklin.

"I really rely on my pace and I want to continue and improve," wing/half-back Nuku said.

BITS Saints club president Andrew McMahon said it's exciting for the pair.

"The club supplied them with clothing, memberships and flights," he said.

"Given that these guys come from a third world country and now have the opportunity to play AFL is just great."

Watkin expects a tough encounter against the old enemy.

"I expect Muddies to be at full strength and we will be close to full strength with Brendan Clarke returning from a shoulder injury and Jack Keleher also returns," the coach said.

Watkin expects Clarke to go to goal-kicking leader Steve Eilola who has booted 51 majors.

Mudcrabs president Josh Roati said the fight for fourth spot will not be lost if his team loses.

"The fight for that finals spot is well and truly open and it will be a very interesting last round to see who pulls it together to get it," Roati said.

The cross-town derby match is also a fundraiser where proceeds will go to the RACQ Rescue Helicopter Service.

The Mudcrabs players will wear specifically designed charity guernseys.

"All will be be auctioned off after the finish of the A-grade game with the proceeds going to the charity," Roati said.


U13 - 8am

U15 - 9:10am

U17 - 10:30am

U7-9 - 12:10pm

U11 - 1:10pm

Reserves - 2:10pm

Women - 3:55pm

A-grade - 4:55pm

Topics:  afl capricornia bits saints football club gladstone mudcrabs solomon islands