Home sweet home

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

A SUMMER of hard work is set to pay off for former Macleay Valley Mustang Aiden Tolman.

The 18-year-old from Hat Head has just completed his first pre-season for the Melbourne Storm after being selected in the Australian Schoolboys team last year and tonight he's set to pull on the purple and navy of his new club at the BCU International Stadium.

Tolman believes that the months of sweating it out has definitely been worthwhile.

"My footy is going well I think, I've got a lot stronger and I'm a lot fitter and I'll just see how I go, I guess we'll just have to wait and see before we find out but I reckon it has improved," the young forward said.

"It should though because just coming down here and training with the boys, a lot of them have played very high standards of representative football for Australia and stuff like that. Just being around them, it rubs off on you and you train better and can feel yourself improving every training session."

One thing that Tolman has enjoyed since arriving with the squad on Tuesday afternoon is that feeling of being home again.

"It's exciting to be back home again, going down there to a big city I'm missing the coast a bit," he added.

"It should be good up here, there should be a few local people that know me, it will be good see them again and catch up. All the family are coming up including grandparents and a few family friends as well."

n AS captain-coach of the Coast and Valley All-Stars, Craig Wallace knows that coming up against a professional outfit like Melbourne's second string team is going to be a tall order this early in the year.

"They're fitter than us, there's no doubt about that," the Sawtell leader said.

"If they're not then there's something wrong so we're going to have to play a game where we make sure we control the footy.

"The last thing we want to do is turn over the footy a lot as that will put ourselves on the back foot."

Even though the local team will be going in to tonight's clash as the underdogs, the evergreen prop believes that there's plenty of incentive for those lucky enough to be selected to put on a good show.

"The young guys in the team need to realise that they're on show," he said.

"There'll definitely be some guys from Melbourne there and I'm sure some from the Gold Coast as well so it's a chance for them to grab a look in there."

Playing for the third year as part of the representative team, Wallace believes that this clash will be just as exciting as the past two against the USA and Cook Islands national teams.

"It probably is because these blokes are playing for contracts and things like that so it's a bit different but there's some big names named for them so it's definitely going to be a challenge and an arm wrestle."

COAST & VALLEY

ALL-STARS

1. Kevin Gordon

2. Scott Lacey

3. Nowan Williams

4. Nathan Davies

5. Nick Corban

6. Daniel Tempest

7. Hayden Fisher

8. Craig Wallace

9. Jason Usher

10. Aaron Considine

11. Matt Cheeseman

12. Anthony Fensom

13. Paul Tomlinson

Interchange

14. Joel Lacey

15. Josh Young

16. Brenden Pellegrino

17. Scott Street

18. Hone Matete

MELBOURNE STORM

1. Russell Webber

2. Luke Samoa

3. Joel Thompson

4. Israel Falou

5. Anthony Perkins

6. Chris Hyde

7. Liam Foran

8. Scott Anderson

9. Matthew Bartlett

10. Antonio Kaufusi

11. Sika Manu

12. Sammy Joe

13. Tim Smith

Interchange

14. Sinbad Kali

15. James Crombie

16. Aiden Tolman

17. Pale Ale

18. Aiden Guerra

19. Kevin Proctor



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