State of play
To prepare for the carnival, being played at Wagga Wagga over the Queen's Birthday long weekend, selectors have chosen an initial squad of 43 players which will eventually be whittled down to the final squad of 24.
The squad selected is a mixture of youth and experience with last year's premiers Port Macquarie having the greatest representation in the squad with 11 players making the initial list.
Coffs Swans and Sawtell also have healthy numbers within the squad with eight selections each.
It has been over 10 years since the AFL North Coast was beaten in a representative fixture with a long string of victories coming in their annual matches against the Summerland and Tamworth/Armidale leagues.
The upcoming carnival pits the North Coast's best players against leagues from Sydney, the ACT and the South Coast.
"The North Coast has a proud history of competing in representative fixtures and we want to send our best possible side to represent the league," AFL North Coast president Jim Woodlock said.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to compete against other NSW leagues and give our best players a taste of high quality competition.
"In view of the significance of this event we plan to be better prepared than is historically the case."
The better preparation starts this weekend with the first training session being held on Sunday morning at Fitzroy Oval.