It will be a great moment for the whole of Western Victoria- Gerard Fitzgerald
The Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels will play their first game of 2017 at the newly refurbished Eureka Stadium in Ballarat on Sunday.
After undergoing major redevelopments, the stadium will host seven GWV Rebels TAC Cup matches, as well as a historic round 22 AFL clash between the Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide in August.
Rebels coach Gerard FitzGerald said it will be a momentous occasion.
“It is going to be quite a historic game for everyone involved.
“It will be great for people in our region to have access to an AFL standard facility.
“The whole experience is going to be fantastic,” he said.
FitzGerald said he has a strong connection to the ground.
“I coached my first ever game at what is now Eureka Stadium.
“I’ve watched the stadium grow and develop to what it is now and I’m very proud of it,” he said.
The Rebels are coming off a 40-point loss to the Oakleigh Chargers.
FitzGerald said his side suffered from poor patches in the match.
“The most striking finding was that the opposition kicked six third quarter goals all in a clump in about eight or nine minutes.
“If we had have stopped the successive quick goals it could have been a different story,” he said.
Stawell’s Jackson Taurau was named as the Rebels best player.
FitzGerald said Taurau has made improved significantly.
“Jackson defended really well.
“They had a lot of the ball in their forward 50 so he did very well under a lot of pressure.
“He’s beginning to find his role and play that role well. He will only get better with more confidence,” he said.
The Rebels are sitting eighth on the TAC cup ladder, with two wins and four losses.
The Rebels will face the Western Jets, also with a record of two wins and four losses.
The Jets will travel to Ballarat looking to break a two game losing streak.
FitzGerald said his team is looking very promising.
“We have a very young squad and they are all still learning.
“They are a great bunch of boys to coach and they all want to do the right thing to succeed,” he said.
The team trained at Eureka Stadium, and were able to experience the stadium before their game.
FitzGerald said his team can’t wait to play in the new stadium.
“We’ve got a feeling of the rooms and the stadium as a whole.
“We just can’t wait for Sunday,” he said.
FitzGerald said the updated stadium will be great for the region.
“All the Rebels of the future will benefit from this great stadium.
“We are all looking forward to when the AFL comes to Ballarat.
“It will be a great moment for the whole of Western Victoria,” he said.
The Rebels will play at Eureka Stadium from 1pm on Sunday May 14.
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