Muddies coach expecting Eilola to receive rep call
AFL: Gladstone Mudcrabs coach Mark Jensen believes AFL selectors would be "stupid” not to pick leading Capricornia goal kicker Steve Eilola in the North Queensland squad for the upcoming representative match against South Queensland.
Eilola has hardly put a foot wrong for the Muddies this season, having already kicked 54 goals from nine games to sit top of the goal-kicking ladder ahead of Yeppoon's Eli Wells, who has booted 51 majors.
The 27-year-old was able to transfer his excellent club form into the representative arena earlier this month when he kicked eight goals for AFL Capricornia during its 20-goal flogging of AFL Mackay at Rockhampton's Stenlake Park.
Jensen is tipping Eilola to be named in the final 22-man North Queensland squad for the match at be played as a curtain-raiser to the Round 18 Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast Suns AFL clash at Cazaly's Stadium in Cairns on July 22.
"I think they'd be absolutely stupid not to pick him to be honest,” Jensen said.
"He's the leading goal kicker and he showed in the Capricornia rep game that he's able to step up at the next level as well.
"For him to take it to another level again would be fantastic for him but the selectors would be silly not to pick him.
"He provides a lot of leadership, experience, skill and he'd be a great all-round player.”
Opposition defenders who have marked the Eilola this season have felt the full wrath of the fiery and aggressive full-forward.
"He's really quick off the mark which helps him get separation on his opponent to start off with,” Jensen said.
"He's very experienced as well and has a lot of knowledge and game smarts about knowing where to run. He times his leads really well and works hard as well as having the talent.
"He's an out-and-out full-forward, but if he gets the ball anywhere around the 50 he can kick from 55 (metres) so if he gets it there he's also dangerous.”
AFL Capricornia selector Peter Young said the North Queensland squad would be trimmed from 57 to 22 players next week.
Young said he'd be "pushing hard” for Eilola's inclusion.