Border Mail – Round 2 Preview

BILLABONG Crows coach Al Austin is banking on natural progression helping the club up the ladder this season.

In an encouraging start, the Crows defeated Murray Magpies last weekend and Austin is hoping for an even better showing against Howlong at Howlong on Saturday.

“We were up and down on Saturday,” Austin said.

“It wasn’t a great game, but it was good to win even though we didn’t play fantastic footy.”

Austin said players including Riley and Zac Kerr, Nick Morris and Matt Gaynor would be vital to the Crows’ progression after the club managed just one win last season.

“It’s more of a natural growth thing with our players getting a year older,” he said.

“We picked up a few recruits, but I think most of it has to come internally.

“Our average age is 22 or 23 and not earlier 20s so we have a bit more experience.”

Howlong dodged a bullet last weekend with the experienced head of Steve Jolliffe being pivotal.

IT’S almost 4500-kilometres from the small Western Australian town of Halls Creek to Henty.

But some old-fashioned community spirit has made first-cousins Daniel and Dale Cox and William Farrer feel right at home with the Swampies.
The trio have picked up work on the farms of Henty players and officials with Daniel saying his first couple of weeks in the Riverina had been a huge eye-opener.

“It’s my first time on a farm – it’s a bit different from anything I’ve done before,” Daniel said.

“We round sheep up, weigh lambs and do shed work and are helping build a woolshed.

“Things like that.

“I’ve done nothing like this.”

If the truth be known, their only disappointment since arriving at Henty is failing to catch a goanna.

Try as they might, Daniel says they have come up empty-handed.

“We’re on a search for one but haven’t got lucky yet,” he said.

“Hopefully we can get one soon.”

The lifestyle is clearly agreeing with the cousins judging by their opening round performances against reigning premier Osborne at Osborne.

Dale was lightning across half-back, Daniel dominated in the midfield and Farrer was close to best afield in the first-half in attack.

“It was good to have a run with the boys,” Daniel said.

“The footy is a bit more contested here.

“I played for Cable Beach in Broome last year and it’s not as close in up there.”

While the Cox cousins grew up at Halls Creek, Farrer originates from Balga Community Centre which is about three hours away from them.

The link to Henty came through new coach Joel Price.

Price coached Farrer at Howlong last season after first coming across him through his cousins while playing for Southern Districts in the Northern Territory several years ago.