Gilbert's at home as Saints face Lions

FORMER Coolangatta Blues player Sam Gilbert will create a first for himself this Saturday in the NAB Cup game against the Brisbane Lions.

Gilbert, a defender with St Kilda, has never played against the Lions in either the NAB Cup or during the regular season, and is looking forward to the challenge at the Gold Coast Stadium at Carrara on Saturday evening.

After a gruelling pre-season, Gilbert said both he and his club mates were looking forward to getting out and actually playing a game against another club.

“We had an intraclub match which everyone came through okay,” Gilbert said.

“We didn't have any crazy Irishmen trying to spoil things, and as a group, we are pretty happy with our fitness and conditioning.

“I'm really looking forward to running out against the Lions, and know a few of the players.”

The NAB Cup is the culmination of a bush week this week for the Saints, who will be taking part in the AFL community camp program as well as paying visits to Coolangatta and the Tweed later in the week.

Tomorrow evening, Saints players will attend a training session at the Coolangatta Blues ground at Len Peak Oval, Kirra from 6.30pm (DST).

Gilbert said he hoped to be there, especially coming back to his old club.

“We get a break at the end of the season, so I try to get back and catch up with the boys at the club then, especially people like Doug Hawkins and Mark Lynch,” Gilbert said.

On Thursday, St Kilda players will take part in a skills clinic and AFL KidsZone session at Rabjones Oval, Murwillumbah from 1pm to 2.30pm (DST).

The interactive inflatable AFL KidsZone area will be set up and Saints players will be conducting drills and skills sessions for the school children attending, as well as signing autographs.

On Saturday, St Kilda begins its NAB Cup defence against Brisbane, and Gilbert is hoping to get plenty of time on the field to help secure a position in the side with the regular season in mind.

“My goals this year are to play consistent, good footy and cement a spot in the senior side for the regular season,” Gilbert said.

As for the match, Gilbert is expecting a decent crowd to come along and watch the action.

“Saints always seem to bring a loyal following out for their matches, and the Lions also have a strong following on the Coast,” he said.

“I'm sure I can drag a few family members along to boost numbers!”

Win the chance to be a mascot

THE Tweed Daily News and the AFL are offering two children the chance to run out at Gold Coast Stadium on Saturday, February 14 in front of thousands of fans as the junior mascot for the Brisbane Lions or St Kilda when the two sides clash. The prize also includes tickets for your family, plus the official team uniform to keep. For your chance to win, simply put your name, address and daytime phone number on the back of an envelope along with the name of one of the teams playing and send it to:

AFL Junior Mascot Competition,

c/o Tweed Daily News, PO Box 6336

Tweed Heads South, 2486.

We'll draw the winners at the close of mail on Thursday and notify them on Friday.

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