GAME ON: Stanthorpe United will field a team in the TFL premier division for the first time, after coronavirus restrictions cancelled the local season.
GAME ON: Stanthorpe United will field a team in the TFL premier division for the first time, after coronavirus restrictions cancelled the local season.

Redbacks poised for breakout TFL season

FOOTBALL: There is growing excitement among footballers in Stanthorpe as they prepare to take to the field in the Toowoomba Football League’s premier division.

It’s the first time a side will be fielded in the nine-team competition, after the local Football Stanthorpe season was cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

Stanthorpe United Redbacks coach Brad Rubb said players were eager to get back on the paddock, despite playing in a new competition.

“I think the confirmation of the start date generated some excitement in the boys,” he said.

“There was a bit of a quicker step at training on Thursday.”

The amalgamated team will feature players from four clubs, with many having never played a game together before.

Rubb said the side were still dealing with the challenges of having 15 players from different sides.

“We will only get better from game one, we’ve got guys who have never played a game together but plenty against each other,” he said.

“We’ll be going against teams who have potentially played together for years.

“The main thing is that we bond and put in for each other on the field.”

New Stanthorpe United coach Brad Rubb said he had very few expectations for the formed team.
New Stanthorpe United coach Brad Rubb said he had very few expectations for the formed team.

The Redbacks will play their first TFL game on Saturday night against Highfields in Toowoomba.

There are very few expectations for the season, according to Rubb who said it was about giving players a chance to play.

“I know the boys won’t die wondering (what the expectations are), they’ll just give it a good crack,” he said.

“I use poor cousin when talking about it with the boys. I hope people jump on the bandwagon, and we can earn the respect of other teams in the competition and become a team feared by others.

“This was all brought about to give guys a chance who wanted to play competitive football this year, and to jump on board and have a crack.”

The easing of virus restrictions earlier than expected has given the newly formed team the opportunity to have an interclub match on Tuesday night.

Redbacks will travel to Warwick to play the Wolves at 7pm at Queens Park.

Rubb said there was a “healthy competitiveness” among the two towns.

“It’ll just allow us to have a game situation for the first time since we’ve got together,” he said.

“The COVID training guidelines make it difficult to do anything, game scenario wise.

“It will be good just to try and get the boys to gel a bit in a game situation and see what we look like on the paddock.”