John Way (right) of the Hervey Bay Fruitbats tries to smother a kick as teammate Shaun Rudd comes in to help.
John Way (right) of the Hervey Bay Fruitbats tries to smother a kick as teammate Shaun Rudd comes in to help. ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN

Men go batty over their footy

COL O'Brien is not afraid to admit it.

He and his teammates may struggle to walk for a couple of days after a game of Aussie rules nowadays.

While their bodies may be showing signs of aging, they certainly don't struggle with any ability when they have a Sherrin in their hands — far from it.

The men of the Hervey Bay Fruitbats are proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the Masters Australian Football Queensland competition this year.

Well, O'Brien's teammates are – he's only played a couple of times because of a bad back.

But even without O'Brien in the line-up, the Fruitbats are flying high.

Five games into the season, this bunch of maturing men, who range in age from the babies in their 30s to one who is still doing it easy at almost 60, have won an impressive four times and lost only once.

They chalked up their latest win by beating Sandgate at Torquay's N. E. McLean Oval.

The Fruitbats are still searching for their first MAFQ premiership since they joined the competition in 2002 but that statistic may change if the current form is any indication.

They may not be as quick across the oval as they once were or be able to jump as high but O'Brien said that counted for nothing.

“It's all about experience,” he laughed.

“We know just where we have to be in a game — it may take us a little longer to get in position, but we get there in the end.

“Besides, we can still kick a goal and take a mark when it's needed.

“Rotations off the bench also play a key role at our age — you could say that they help keep us fresh and nimble.”



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