You’ve got to beat us!
Kerkow’s confidence is sky high Shooting from the hip, Kookaburra icon, Kelvin Kerkow, fires a warning shot ahead of the Australian Sides.
“We are a threat and we’re going down to win,” he announces.
“You’ve got to beat us to win it.”
After winning the Alley Shield in 2012, then losing possession to NSW a year later, Queensland Men are hoping to wrestle the shield back on neutral ground in 2014.
Skipping a powerhouse foursome of Darren Mullens, Anthony Keipe and Brett Wilkie, Kerkow’s confidence is flowing ahead of one of bowls most exciting competitions.
“I’m very confident our team will do well. Mullens has probably played 50 state games on my rink and I’ve played Wilkie hundreds of times. We haven’t played together a lot but we do get on very well. And Kiepe also plays in the state team with me.”
Bill Cornehls and the selectors made changes after the 3-0 drubbing against NSW earlier in the year. For success in the Sides, these have to work.
“Against NSW, we just didn’t have it,” was Kerkow’s assessment.
“It’s one of the reasons I put my hand up to come back. Case (Mark Casey) returning also brings a lot of experience, he’s a game winner, and between us we add more depth, experience and strength to the team. Now, it’s a really good team throughout.”
“The balance is good. Players can move within the team, they can play in various positions within the rink.”
It’s not just his bowling that he’s famed for, Kerkow’s a character and Cornehls noted his voice was missing from the NSW series.
“In NSW when we were behind, some players were dragging the chain, some went in to their shell a bit. It’s all about winning. If the team is confident and in front, the players are more vocal, I’m a part of that.”
“Mark Casey can play some phenomenal shots and the team can get behind that. When the top players are leading the charge, the team can build on it,” continued the Queenslander.
After being part of the triumphant hat-trick team of 2010, Kerkow looks forward to one of the main events on the Australian bowls calendar.
“It’s the best interstate competition going. The best players from each state getting together every year.”
And the main rival never seems to change.
“It’s gotta be NSW. They’ve just beaten Queensland 3-0, they won it last year, and in a nutshell are the team to beat.”
“But I think we can beat them, especially with the changes the selectors have made. We are a better team than we were four weeks ago.”
Whilst talking up NSW, there are other states putting in the hard yards and improving.
“WA have been known to be a threat, but the other states have been getting better in the past few years.”
Kerkow is not playing in the Super 6, so will come on to the greens slightly cold. With Northern Territory up first, he gets the chance to ease in to the tournament.
“NT are gonna be beaten 10 out of 10 times, I don’t think they’re a threat at all. But it’ll be good to get together and play a game, they’ll be a good work out to loosen up.”
The whole Queensland team fills Kerkow with confidence.
“If everyone plays to his potential, we will win. Simple.”
The showdown takes place at South Burnie in Tasmania, starting on 28th March with the Super 6’s before the Australian Sides gets underway on 31st March.