Bundy ready to end drought in Battalion
LEAGUE: They might not be at their strongest, but Bundaberg is confident of 47th Battalion success.
The Bundaberg Bears will travel to Toowoomba today for the tournament that starts tomorrow.
The side, while strong, has been put together quickly after multiple players in the original squad were withdrawn through injury or unavailability.
All up, 11 players were removed and seven were added to the squad this week, with 17 players from Bundaberg clubs making the cut.
But don't think for a second the squad doesn't believe it can't take the whole competition out.
"We've still got our core, our spine is still strong," Bears assistant coach Ash Simpson said.
"Dan McLennan, Clinton Horne and Tyrell Howard are there and throw in Damien Otto the squad can do well.
"We've brought in the best guys we could bring in and their enthusiasm has been outstanding coming into the event."
Bundaberg last won the competition in 2013 and has been unlucky not to do so since.
They were robbed of a win in 2016 under a new points system before falling to the hosts in last year's competition.
The Bears could face Toowoomba again in the final but first must beat Central Highlands in the opening round and then either Sunshine Coast or North Wide Bay in the semis.
A loss at either stage would prevent Bundaberg from winning the competition.
Simpson said the focus had been on hitting the ground running when the 47th Battalion started.
"It's more of a mental thing, we can't warm into these things," he said.
"We'll look to be ready to go straight away.
"We're very confident of success, they are great bunch of guys and anything can happen."
The feeling is shared by coach Antonio Kaufusi and captain Jake Thompson.
"If we follow the process and provide effort then that will be the best chance of victory," Kaufusi said.
"Not making the final would be disappointing," Thompson said.
"These boys have the right attitude."
Thompson said his goal was to take the team to glory and make the Central Division side to make up for last year's disappointing campaign.
Bundaberg begins its tournament against Central Highlands at 10am tomorrow before playing again in the afternoon.
Tyrell Howard (The Waves), Billy Stefaniuk (The Waves), Trent Seeds (The Waves), Clinton Horne (The Waves), Dan McLennan (The Waves), Jake Thompson (Isis), Chris Ford (The Waves), Reece Maughan (The Waves), Hayden Priestley (Wests), Danny Moran (Easts), Justyn Porter (Easts), Tyrone Ward (Easts), Ross Larsen (Easts), Tyrell Priestley (Past Brothers), Matt Craven (Isis), Damien Otto (Isis), Mason Atkinson (Maryborough Brothers), Tim Cole (Isis).