Armidale's hardheads in the dark on rivals

ARMIDALE’S “elder statesmen” Andrew Brownlie and Adam O’Sullivan are in the dark about what to expect from the opposition in this weekend’s Country Shield finals at Cowra but that doesn’t worry them.

At 32 and 33 years of age respectively – O’Sullivan turns 34 next week – they are by far the most senior players in the team.

Today’s semi-final opponents Nowra and the other two teams in the top four, Manning and Albury-Wodonga, are cricketing strangers but that is the nature of the finals series.

“We don’t know them but they don’t know us either,” O’Sullivan said.

Captain Brownlie agrees with the former Armidale skipper.

He doesn’t know what to expect from the other teams but has faith in his side’s ability.

“After all this effort, we’re going there with winning in mind,” Brownlie said.

“Nowra has scored some big scores.

“They got 350 or something in their first game.

“But you can’t read anything into that.

“You don’t know what their opposition would have been like.

“They don’t know us and we don’t know them so it’s an advantage for all the sides there.

“Albury will probably be pretty strong.

“It’s their Colts side but it’s a city of 100,000 people.

“But we’ll just go down and play the way we have been.

“That’s all we can do.”

O’Sullivan is the only player from Armidale’s 2005 Country Cup finals campaign who will play this weekend.

He was captain back then.

Armidale lost both of its games that year but only needs to win two this time to claim the first ever Country Shield title in its inaugural year.

The only other veteran from 2005 still playing for Armidale, Matt Schaefer, would have been in the team for the final but is unavailable due to family commitments.

His place has been taken by Alex Frost, who scored a half century in his only game this summer, against Narrabri before Christmas.

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