Vikings depth test
By BRUCE LEONARD
THE Grafton City Vikings start their State League season on Saturday night when they take on last year's finalists, Gosford City Rebels.
Last season the young Vikings struggled most of the time, but this year are a year older and a year more experienced and added to this a few of the older players in Stuart Tait and Steve Smith have got the bug again and are playing one last year.
They will most definitely make a difference as the season wears on.
Added to this Cameron Fishburn has returned from Western Australia and his height and weight will make a big difference to the team.
Nathan Chiswell is also playing again but will miss this game with an injury.
Tonight's game is a bad one for the team. Their talented juniors are playing in Tamworth in the State Championships, while the Boorman brothers are out as well.
The team will be very competitive tonight, but will not have a very long bench. This could help coach Howe with his subbing.
It is highly likely that the Vikings will start with Smith, Tim Kent who performed well last year, captain Matt Moran, Stuart Tait and Cameron Fishburn.
This would be the strongest team the Vikings have put on the court for a long while.
With Chris Crawford coming off the beach the team has some depth, but if they run into foul trouble they will struggle.
At this stage in the season the Vikings are lacking match fitness and this will apply until May as after tonight they have another three weeks off. Then they do not get a break until the end of the season.
Gosford Rebels played two games last week for two losses but they were close. The Rebels do not seem quite as strong as last year with their top player from previous season, Larry Davidson, playing with Brad Davidson in the National League and having signed with the same club.