Pickers star Adam Clydsdale is relishing the challenge of his first Coalfields clash against Kurri Kurri at The Graveyard.
Always one of the biggest fixtures of the year for both clubs, Saturday’s encounter goes to a whole new level with the Pickers still in the hunt for the minor premiership and the Bulldogs needing a win to guarantee they play in finals.
Throw in the fact that it’s Bulldogs Old Boys day and Kurri Kurri’s life members will be forming a guard of honour for their team before the game and the game has the hallmarks of becoming a part of the shared folklore of the clubs.
“It’s my first time, it might be interesting. It is their Old Boys day and they will be up for it so it should be a big game,” Clydsdale said this week.
Clydsdale said he had heard all about the clashes over the years between the two clubs and the intimidating atmosphere the Bulldogs fans create.
“They’re playing for a spot in the finals, but we’ve got a lot on line as well. I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
Clydsdale said the Pickers would be looking for a much improved performance this week, particularly in defence, after last week’s disappointing 48-26 loss to Lakes United.
“We were a bit off on Saturday, but that’s footy it is hard to get up for every game,” he said. “I know at this time of year you should be ready to play so hopefully we can turn it around this weekend.
“We would have liked to win last week and become minor premiers, but we’ve got a chance again this week.
“But just to finish in the top three is a big effort after the boys finished with the wooden spoon the last couple of years.”
Clydsdale said he had really enjoyed his first year at the Pickers under coach Luke Dorn.
“I feel I have played a bit of a leadership role and helped Dorny out a bit,” he said.
“We’ve got a good attacking team, so I have really enjoyed the attacking side of it.
“There are a lot of good people and importantly a lot of good people in the right positions at the club.”
Clydsdale said he had enjoyed his front-row seat watching Dorn and Ryan Walsh combining in attack.
“It just shows the experience of Dorny. He has played so many games in the Super League and everyone knows it’s all about attack over there and he brings it here .
“You see him and Ryan Walsh working so well together, they are just such good attacking players.
“Dorny is a really smart coach, he works to our strenghts. We’ve got a really good forward pack as well and everyone is finding their role at the moment which helps.”