COLAC Tigers defender Mick Embrey is a surprise inclusion in Geelong Football League’s preliminary interleague squad.
Embrey and Kane Leersen are the Tigers’ representatives in a 45-player squad ahead of the GFL’s interleague showdown against the Ballarat Football League.
Selectors have also included first-year senior Paul Presani in a 10-player development group with a view for him to play a role in future interleague campaigns.
GFL coach Glen Wallace said selectors believed Embrey could play a role down back and deserved his spot in the squad.
Wallace said Tigers midfielders Andrew Kelly and Dan Jeffreys were also in contention but selectors opted for other hard-bodied onballers.
“As far as midfield positions go across the league there are a plethora of quality onballers, it’s a difficult proposition that worked against those guys in the end,” he said.
“We identified similar players who got the nod before them.
“We think Embrey can bring something to the table that others can’t.”
Key forward Jake McGuane was the Tigers’ sole representative in the side which overran Bendigo last season.
He formed a three-pronged attack with St Josephs’ Russell Robertson and South Barwon’s Clinton Wells.
But McGuane, overseas, and Robertson, unavailable, will miss the May 26 clash at Ballarat, paving the way for a new-look forward line.
Wallace said St Marys’ Matt Hebbard, Newtown and Chilwell’s Brad Ottens and Bell Park’s Ben Johnson could fill the key forward void.
“In the squad there is plenty of ex-AFL experience but I hope a number of around four can play,” he said.
Wallace said the league’s squad was stronger on paper than the 2011 side.
“Out of last year’s side there are five players who are no longer in the league,” he said.
“Into the squad there are 14 players who weren’t available last year that have been picked.”
St Marys has the most representatives with seven.
The squad will have a meet-and-greet session at Highton on Sunday and will train at Grovedale’s Burdoo Reserve on Wednesday.