CHARLES Sturt University assistant coach Jeff Ladd hopes to implement some of the things he learnt on a national stage at the Bushpigs this season.
Ladd will be a welcome inclusion for the Bushpigs when they host Northern Jets at Peter Hastie Oval on Saturday.
Ladd missed last week's 24-point loss to Barellan due to representative commitments with the Australian Defence Force All Stars.
Ladd was selected for the All Stars after impressing for the RAAF at the national carnival in Melbourne earlier this year.
It meant he was able to represent the Australian Defence Force for the third time in the annual fixture against the Combined Emergency Services.
The game was played at Adelaide Oval last Saturday as a curtain raiser for Port Adelaide's big win over West Coast.
Ladd said it was a fantastic experience.
"It was good. I've played it a couple of times before but it's surreal every time playing on a deck like that. It's carpet, it's a nice rug," Ladd said.
"Because it's a curtain-raiser, by the time you finish there's 20,000 people sitting there watching you."
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Ladd spent time between full-forward and centre-half-forward for the All Stars, as they went down to the emergency services by about seven goals.
Ladd said the game was a high standard of football.
"One of the boys in the midfield who got best on for the Combined Emergency Services, he's a 220-game player for Sturt who played in four premierships. They just moved the ball well all day," Ladd explained.
"One year we'll win by 10 goals and the next we'll lose by seven. It's pretty even, we've had five wins each out of the 10 all star games.
"One of our centre-half-forwards went down with a calf injury earlier in the week but he watched the game and said afterwards that it was like playing league footy that, he said it was SANFL standard. It's a hard game but it's enjoyable that's for sure. The skills are on, everyone's hitting each other."
Ladd has already tried to implement a few things he learnt during the experience at the Bushpigs.
"It helps with a bit of forward line structure actually," he said.
"I was at training (Tuesday) night and brought a couple of things back to the boys and they said they makes sense and took it on board and moved forward."
Ladd, 27, said leadership was the biggest thing he gained from the game.
"It's more about the leadership and playing with a bunch of like-minded people. That's what I take out of it every time," he said.
"Everyone's professional, very competitive and we all work towards the same goal. Whereas local league, you may have 10 stragglers whereas you rock up to a game like that, it's here's our structure, here's our game plan and everyone gets it day one and everyone moves on straight from that.
"It's very professional and leadership and leadership qualities are the biggest thing to take out of it."
Ladd and Lachie Moore (illness) will both return for CSU on Saturday, while Connor Kelly and Angus Bartter both got through reserve grade last weekend and will push for selection.
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