Josh Hill has played a lot of footy in Western Australia in recent years, but knows tonight’s match will be a unique experience.
“It’s going to be interesting.”
The 26-year-old has played more than 50 games for West Coast since joining the club at the end of 2011 – but tonight he’ll be running out alongside the Indigenous All Stars, and will be doing everything in his power to stop his Eagles teammates from getting on top.
“it didn’t bother me who I played for, I just wanted to be part of the game” – Josh Hill
“I don’t think they’ll be holding back at all,” Hill said with a smile.
“I saw the boys when I went to Beau [Waters’ retirement] announcement and copped a bit of lip, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Asked whether he’s provided any insights into the way West Coast line up, Hill said “the coaches have asked me a few questions, but I’ll just let them sort it out. The players will just go out there, have fun and enjoy the atmosphere and the game.”
Hill suspects he’ll line up on “one of the young boys”, but revealed that may change as the match wears on.
“If I start making an impact, apparently Mitch Brown’s going to come and crush me,” Hill laughed.
“I’m a bit worried about that.”
While some might feel uncomfortable playing a competitive match against their teammates, Hill insists the experience will be one he’ll treasure.
“I’m tipping us, for sure!” – Josh Hill
“At first it didn’t bother me who I played for, I just wanted to be part of the game. If other players wanted the opportunity to play for the All Stars I would’ve been happy to give them my spot, but it’s just great to be a part of it.
“To be asked to play is a big honour for me and my family, and to play alongside the cousins of the Jettas and the Hills.”
Tonight’s match will round off a week Hill describes as “a lot of fun”.
“We all got together [for Indigenous Camp] on Sunday afternoon and went from there.
“There’s a lot of new faces in the system these days – the young boys coming in. We’ve given them a bit of knowledge about how to prepare for footy and an AFL career and have done a lot of travelling. We went to King’s park to do a Welcome to Country and then went to Rottnest Island on Tuesday. It was pretty exciting to learn a few things about history.”
The players have been soaking up information and asked to share their thoughts and stories all week as part of the camp. One of the last questions Hill will be asked before the game was an easy one: who will win tonight?
“I’m tipping us, for sure!”
“I think just with the pace and the excitement that the boys will bring… And seeing all the faces out at the oval, the crowd will definitely get involved. They’ll love seeing Shaun Burgoyne and you’ve got Stephen and Brad Hill out there alongside guys like Lewy [Jetta].
“It’ll definitely draw a good crowd and good atmosphere.”