Bombers start campaign for flag with trial matches
HERVEY Bay Bombers will start the campaign for the club's first AFL Wide Bay flag since 2013 on Saturday.
The Torquay club will host QFA Division 5 side Ipswich Cats this week, in a match that pits the Bombers against a similarly skilled and talented outfit.
Bombers coach Darren Hunter said the Norm McLean Oval trial would allow him to gauge his squad's progress during the off-season, and how the club is placed five weeks out from the planned start of the new six-team senior season.
The squad will spend next weekend at Woodgate for a two-night camp, before they return to host AFL Capricornia powerhouse Yeppoon Swans.
The Swans have won the past three AFL Capricornia premierships, and coach Mark Willan has his troops primed for a tilt at a historic fourth consecutive flag.
Yeppoon was unbeaten last year and has not lost a game since Round 6 in 2015.
It is an imposing record for any coach or team to face, but Hunter, who was an assistant to Troy Ignatenko during the Bombers' run of three-straight grand final appearances in 2012-14, said the high quality opponent will put his team on the right track.
"We used to play trials against Yeppoon a few years ago and it's always a good opportunity to see where we're at,” Hunter said.
"We'd love to keep that going. They play a full-field game and haven't lost a match in years.”
Saturday's trial against the Cats starts at 3pm.