Andrew Gaff is tipping a high-scoring and free-flowing affair when Victoria takes on the All Stars, but the West Coast ball magnet still expects all players will go “pretty hard”.
Gaff will pull on the ‘Big V’ at Marvel Stadium on Friday night for bushfire relief, lining up against Eagles teammates and All Stars representatives Brad Sheppard and Elliot Yeo.
While the trio will miss West Coast’s opening Marsh Community Series match on Thursday night, Gaff was gearing up for the fundraising match in Melbourne to be a genuine contest.
“First of all it’s very exciting to be picked. It’s something that all guys want to be a part of,” Gaff told SEN.
“Obviously we talk about how big State of Origin was and hopefully it can be something bigger in the future, but for the time being it’s a great opportunity for guys to put on the jumper and hopefully play well.
“In terms of Friday night, I think it’s going to be pretty on.
“I think it’s going to be different to the standard and intensity AFLX was last year and guys are going to go pretty hard because we’ve only got one Marsh Community (Series) game to go after this.
“I don’t think we have the luxury to coast through these games.
“I think when you do play these games you want to go as hard as you can.
“When you’ve got the best of the best involved it’s pretty hard to take the foot off a bit and I think you get exposed if you do that.
“I think it’s going to be pretty high scoring. I think when you’ve got the best guys involved the skills are a little bit better.”
West Coast’s star trio playing in Melbourne will open up spots for other Eagles to strut their stuff against Essendon on Thursday.
Mobile third-year tall Jarrod Brander, who spent time on a wing in last Friday’s intraclub, and emerging forward-ruck Bailey Williams loom as possible inclusions after strong summers.
Marquee big man Nic Naitanui is a confirmed starter, with recruit Tim Kelly set to step out for the first time in blue and gold.
“We’re playing as full-strength team as we possibly can,” Gaff said.
“I think that’s the good thing when you only do have two Marsh Community (Series) games, you can’t muck around too much and you’ve got to get going with playing your best guys straight away and get ready for the season - it’s only three or four weeks away.
“It will be good for a few boys that are in Melbourne, us West Coast boys, to watch on Thursday night and hopefully they play well and hopefully all the stuff we’ve been practicing for the whole off-season comes to fruition Thursday night and for the rest of the year.”