ORANGE City Lions fullback Sam Dwyer is champing at the bit ahead of this weekend’s local derby.
“I just love it,” he said.
“I love the build-up and the hype around the game, the excitement. I love the crowd, I love the physicality. More than anything I love fighting it out and then having a beer with the Emus guys afterwards.”
Orange City takes on Orange Emus at Endeavour Oval on Saturday, and the game is one of the most anticipated cross-town clashes in recent memory.
Both teams are firmly entrenched in the Blowes Clothing Cup top three, with the Lions sitting second just one point in front of Emus.
Despite immersing himself in the build-up to the clash, Dwyer said he was sick of hearing how impressive Emus had been recently.
“We’re ignoring everyone talking about them,” he laughed.
“Look, they’re obviously playing good footy but there isn’t any point in us thinking about that. We’re playing just as well, clearly, and we aren’t anywhere near our best yet.
“They always come to play in these games, regardless of where both teams sit on the table, and this year won’t be any different.”
The clash pits the competition’s best defensive team against the highest point scorers.
Orange City has conceded just 123 points this season, while Emus have scored 283, but it could be the reverse statistic that is more telling.
The Lions have scored 188 points, 95 less than Emus, while the greens have conceded 127 - just four more than Orange City.
Dwyer, however, dismissed the statistic and predicted a game for the ages.
“We’re expecting a tough game, tougher than anything we’ve faced this year,” he said.
“Statistics don’t mean much in these games. I’ve played in derbies in colts, seconds and firsts and I’ve never felt excitement like this.
“With both teams going well I think it will be the biggest I’ve ever been a part of without a doubt.”