JUNEE centres Will Merritt and Peter Little finally get what they have wanted when the Diesels play Southcity at Harris Park on Sunday.
Merritt and Little were backline buddies for four years at Southcity before making the momentous move to Junee this year.
The dynamic pairing shared a Group Nine premiership with the Bulls in 2011, which firmly sits as the high-spot of Merritt’s barnstorming career.
“It was unreal,” Merritt said.
“That was my first year and to win the grand final was unbelievable.”
Despite the marvellous memories, Merritt and Little will be leading the charge to bring down Southcity in a critical Group Nine duel in Wagga on Sunday.
Junee (21 points) and Southcity (18) are second and third respectively on the ladder behind top-team Gundagai (23).
Five games out from the finals, an adverse result on Sunday could have a profound impact on the Bulls – and Merritt and Little are chaffing at the bit to make it happen.
“Me and Pete have been waiting all year for this game,” Merritt said.
“It’ll be good to play against all the boys.”
Amid the tension for both teams, Merritt is not concerned of any repercussions from his former team-mates over the allegiance switch to Junee.
“There aren’t any grudges against us,” Merritt said.
“We’ll just be taking it as another game.
“You never know we might want to go back there one day.”
Heading into the showdown, Merritt admits his past links with Southcity will have a downside on Sunday.
“All the (Southcity) boys will know exactly how we play,” Merritt said.
“That’ll make it a lot harder.
“Obviously we know how they play too.”
Recalling his dream debut season with Southcity in 2011, Merritt says it is “impossible” to compare the premiership-winners with the current Junee team.
“You just can’t do it,” Merritt said.
“There are so many things you have to look at.”
With Merritt and Little king-pins of a blistering backline, Junee is in right in the mix to break a 29 year premiership drought.
The Diesels last won the title in 1986, with 15-year-old Laurie Daley the star.
Three decades on, Merritt believes there is a growing confidence the Diesels can end their heartache.
“I’m sure we can give it a shake,” Merritt said.
“We just need to keep playing like we are.”
Junee belted Brothers 40-10 in a low-key game at Laurie Daley Oval last Sunday and must to rise to the big occasion on Sunday at their former home ground.
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