Today’s public launch of the second $100,000 Australian Premier
League in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall has provided a glimpse of the changes in
store for the ground breaking competition this year, including the unveiling of
the two franchise teams.
Crackerjack star and APL ambassador Mick Molloy officially
revealed the new-look competition, which will be staged again at Club Pine
Rivers from November 18 to 21, in the heartland of Brisbane’s CBD shopping
precinct alongside representatives from each of the eight teams today.
The newly formed Gold Coast Hawks contingent headlined the
announcement, declaring their intention to snare the coveted silverware away
from cross town rivals Brisbane Gold with the naming of three formidable Club
Helensvale-based Australian Jackaroos.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Lynsey Clarke and
international spearhead Nathan Rice have been selected for berths in the Fox
Sports live broadcast event, lining-up in the Hawks’ green and yellow strip
alongside world champion Brett Wilkie, who crosses to his home club-based team
after a one-year outing for the Perth Suns, which resulted in a semi-final
Taking Wilkie’s spot in the Bowls WA-based Suns this year will
be Tom Mitchell, joining former Northern Irish international turned Australian
World Cup winner Jeremy Henry and Western Australian representative Clive Adams
from last year’s event.
It’s full steam ahead for the Murray Steamers, based out of the
Moama Bowling Club in NSW, after securing the monumental signings of two of the
sport’s highest profile international heavy-hitters for their maiden attempt at
Scotland’s dual 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist
Alex Marshall joins, Canada’s singles silver medallist Ryan Bester, in inking
contracts that will see them take to the green for the Murray Steamers, with
Moama’s Michael Walker providing a localised element to the border-town team.
Inaugural winners Brisbane Gold’s team structure remains
untouched, with world champion Mark Casey showing faith despite the formation
and strong connection his Club Helensvale-based Gold Coast Hawks.
Also remaining with the Club Pine Rivers based Gold team are
2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kelvin Kerkow OAM and Queensland
representative Robbie Wild.
The Melbourne Roys outfit also remains unchanged, with Scottish
world champion Graeme Archer, 20 year-old Australian Jackaroo Dylan Fisher and
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Matthew Flapper again tasked with leading
the charge for the Fitzroy Victoria Bowls and Sports Club based contingent.
Despite a bottom of the ladder finish last year, the Sydney
Lions are confident National Coach Steve Glasson, current triple world champion
Karen Murphy and Bowls Australia’s triple International Bowler of the Year Aron
Sherriff can make amends for the Club Mount Lewis team this season.
Adelaide Endurance and the New Zealand Blackjacks have each
announced one positional change to their line-ups in an attempt to progress
further than their runner-up and semi-final finishes respectively.
South Australian representative Simon Dorr joins the Bowls
SA-based Adelaide team, replacing Mark Haines, alongside the inaugural
tournament’s MVP, Scott Thulborn and Jackaroos world champion Wayne Ruediger,
with the new combination hopeful of going one step further this year.
New Zealand international Shannon McIlroy enters the fray for
the Blackjacks, replacing Tony Grantham, while recently crowned Commonwealth
Games singles champion Jo Edwards and master blaster Ali Forsyth return to the
Collectively, six Commonwealth Games gold medallists and 12
world champions will take part in the $100,000 APL02 event.
The Australian Premier League will be shown live on Fox Sports
nationally and SkyTV in New Zealand each night of the November 18 to 21
competition, from 5.00pm-10.00pm AEST, while free entry and rink-side deck
viewing will be on offer at Brisbane’s Club Pine Rivers.
Adelaide Endurance (owner – Bowls SA)
Brisbane Gold (Club Pine Rivers)
Kelvin Kerkow OAM
Gold Coast Hawks (Club Helensvale)
Melbourne Roys (Fitzroy Victoria Bowls and Sports Club)
Murray Steamers (Moama Bowling Club)
New Zealand Blackjacks (Bowls New Zealand)
Perth Suns (Bowls WA)
Lions (Club Mount Lewis)