Elliot Yeo could not have been more direct while fronting the media today.
When the dual West Coast Eagles club champion was asked how seriously he intended to take next Friday’s State of Origin for Bushfire Relief match, he caught reporters off guard with his frank response.
“I hate losing and I hate losing to Victoria, so I’ll be taking it as intense as possible,” a straight-face Yeo said.
If that is anything to go by, the All Stars versus Victoria contest could be a memorable encounter.
While Yeo made his competitive intentions clear, his All Stars teammate Brad Sheppard was quick to chime in and remind the media contingent that the contest was all for a good cause.
“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to play for the All Stars, but also remembering why we are playing, to raise money for the bushfires,” Sheppard said.
“I’m rapt to be a part of it and play alongside some absolute greats of the game.”
Both players said they were extremely excited to line up next to some of the competition’s best athletes.
Yeo will partner the likes of Nat Fyfe, Patrick Cripps, Stephen Coniglio, Lachie Neale, Dayne Zorko and Brodie Grundy in the All Stars’ midfield, while Sheppard will work in tandem with players including Harris Andrews, Rory Laird, Jason Johannisen and Jeremy Howe to stop the big V’s star-studded forward line.
“I’m very excited; just thankful that I got selected and I’m looking forward to playing with and against some of the best players in the competition,” Yeo said.
“I’m ready to rock and roll.”
Sheppard hoped the game might spark the return of State of Origin football.
However, he acknowledged that it would be tough to fit the series into an already jam-packed AFL schedule.
“I think if you asked all players in the AFL they’d love to play State of Origin football, so this is the right step in the right direction,” Sheppard said.
“I think all the boys that represent both teams on Friday week will be going pretty hard I would have thought because it’s a good lead into the season.
“(Elliot and I) are both competitive people, as are the other … 40-odd members in the squad, so I think it’s going to be ‘on’ Friday week.”