Blackberry backs Blues path ahead of game 150
Ahead of his 150th senior TSL game, Jay Blackberry sees exciting similarities between his current team and the 2013 premiership team he played in at South Launceston.
This is Blackberry’s second season as a Blue, previously playing his footy at South Launceston and as captain of the now defunct Western Storm. The 25 year old midfielder’s 150 games has seen a rollercoaster ride but he can see there are many more highs to come on that roller coaster, with his current team building something special.
“It is special reaching 150, it feels like it has been a long time coming.
“I haven’t had as many wins as I would have liked across my career but to get here and be two and zip to start the year and to be playing North, I don’t think it could have worked out any better,” he said.
Blackberry compares his current team to the promising team at South Launceston in 2012, and he hopes the end result will be just as sweet as it was at the Bulldogs.
“I have seen a lot of highs and a lot of lows in the 150 games, I’ve been on some really big losses at South and then obviously we went on to win the flag.
“It’s a big thing where we are going at the moment because I think there are a lot of positives and a lot of signs of where we were at South in 2012 leading into that Grand Final year.”
Whether that means Launceston will lift the cup in 2017, Blackberry isn’t sure but he knows the club is on the right path.
“What Sam (Lonergan) has been able to do is very similar to what Thorpy (Mitch Thorp) was able to do in the lead up year to the flag. I think having Sam (Lonergan) out last year puts us a little bit behind where we could be but if you asked him he’d be pleasantly surprised at where we are at.”
Launceston sit two wins and zero losses after the first two rounds and meet rivals North Launceston, who also sit unbeaten. Despite the winning start, Blackberry believes his Blues still have gears to find.
“Its been good but Burnie outscored us in two out of four quarters so if you look at it that way we haven’t put four quarters of footy together yet. Going forward though we are in a really good place and we’ve really controlled the two matches so far.”
Blackberry enters game 150 in really strong individual form. The skilful midfielder loves the footy in his hands and to his joy, he has had quite a bit of it early on in the season.
“It is good to get a few touches and kick a few goals, it’s fantastic to be in a good team around good people. It’s always good to be getting some footy but it’s not always about that it’s about laying a tackle and applying pressure, doing the team things,” he said.
Milestone games have not been kind to Blackberry in the past but he is hoping that can change on Good Friday when the two Launceston clubs face-off.
“I don’t think I’ve won a milestone game yet.
“A win would be great but regardless of result we want to do the right things, if we do that we can be happy with where we are going.
“We have plenty of respect for North and we will be looking to beat them but it is more about us then it is them.”