Red Ants captain Marty McCracken with the ball for the Red Ants. Photo/File
Red Ants captain Marty McCracken with the ball for the Red Ants. Photo/File

Red Ants ready for the test in pre-season league opener

The region’s favourite sport is set to return this weekend when the Kingaroy Red Ants host Across the Waves Bundaberg in a pre-season trial match.

The 2020 season was cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, forcing South Burnett clubs and players seek alternative ways to stay fit and prepare for the 2021 season.

The Kingaroy Red Ants started their 2021 campaign late last year, putting a strong focus on fitness throughout their pre-season sessions.

Red Ants captain Martyn McCracken said they have had a relatively strong pre-season so far.

“The numbers at training each night have been consistent and everybody is working hard,” McCracken said.

“The focus at this stage has been on our fitness so hopefully that shows on game day.

“We are definitely all excited. The Wide Bay carnival last weekend gave us a taste of local footy again and we can‘t wait to get back on the field ourselves.”

According to McCracken, the off-season was good for the Red Ants, recruiting a number of talented new footballers.

“We have been lucky enough to secure a few new recruits who have moved to the region for work, however, some of the boys haven‘t played league before,” he said.

“The focus this weekend is on giving the new boys a taste of league and having a bit of fun with that.

“This game is definitely going to show us what we need to work on leading into the season start on 20 March.”

The Red Ants will also welcome the return of Jayden Jarvis, back from injury and Asofono Lemalu, who has made the move from Dalby.

McCracken said having Lemalu return from Dalby is a massive asset in the forwards.

“The most exciting players this season are the older more experienced guys who have recovered from injuries over the 12 months off,” he said.

“Connor Sullivan is looking good too and as one of the younger players in the squad, the example Connor sets gives us no doubt that he is not just a future leader of the club, but a leader now.”

The Kingaroy Red Ants will host Across the Waves Bundaberg at 6pm on Saturday February 27. at T.J. O‘Neill Oval Kingaroy.