Tuesday, January 9, 2024

The Mendi Blackhawks will play two trials before kicking off their Hostplus Cup campaign against the Jets in Ipswich on March 9. Townsville will travel north to compete in a three-way warm up game, with Cairns Brothers and the Northern Pride on Saturday February 17. The Mendi Blackhawks will then host the Cutters at Jack Manski Oval on Saturday February 24. Coach Terry Campese anticipates almost all of the roughly 40 players currently completing pre-season will get game time.

“The local league guys that are here have really impressed. It’s also great to see the under 21s that have stepped up, pushing the whole squad and I’m hoping that some of them push for that round one spot. There’s probably about 8 players that you know will be there in that opening round team but I’m finding it really hard to work out who’ll be in that first 17. I think trials are there for anyone to stake their claim to be in that starting squad.”

Competitions for spots is a headache he’s happy to have.

“We’ve got depth in all spots across the park, so positions are up for grabs.”

Townsville’s tussle with Mackay at Jack Manski Oval will cap of a footy feast, with the North Queensland rivals also facing off in under 17s and under 19s mens and womens grades. The Mendi Blackhawks junior sides will get one trial in before their seasons start, they’ll play the Pride on the first Saturday of February, in Tully. The club’s Football Manager Adrian Thomson believes the scratch matches will be beneficial.

“Particularly the 17s because a lot of them have come through and played bits and pieces and some rep stuff together but it’s important to get some cohesion. And it’s important for them to show their wares.

Thompson’s excited to see the sides in action, and he knows the players are pumped.

“All of them are looking forward to it because you’re sick of training, you’re ready to play.”

The Mendi Blackhawks will have their season launch on Friday March 1, at the Brothers Leagues Club.