A TRIO of young Cobden stars will fly north to test themselves in AFL Cairns in 2020.
Midfielders Josh Hickey and Sam Giblett, both 21, and key-position back Christian Koroneos, 22, have signed with four-time reigning premier Port Douglas.
The friends, who climbed through the junior ranks into the seniors at Cobden, flew to Queensland on Wednesday to settle in for the season's start on July 11.
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Giblett said Angus Uwland, a former Croc who has returned to the south-west, was the main influence behind their decision.
The outside midfielder said the trio had no plans to travel to Queensland until the call was made on June 10 to cancel this year's Hampden league season.
"It all happened in the matter of two weeks and we asked our work if we could get time off and everything went well and then Cobden were happy that we were playing some footy," he said.
Giblett said the trio continued to train during the coronavirus-enforced hiatus and were eager to join up with coach Brad Cooper and the Crocs' playing group.
"Us boys have still kept our fitness up and with (coach) Adam Courtney) putting out a program for the Cobden boys over time off and we have kept ourselves in good nick," he said.
Bombers coach Adam Courtney said it was an exciting opportunity.
"They are three young Cobden boys that haven't got commitments and are trying something new and have jumped at the chance to do so," the second-year mentor said.
"The club fully supports them playing footy in a different area and getting different life experiences. We hope they have a great time and wish them the best."
Hickey said he was excited to get up to Cairns, start playing and earn his spot in the Crocs' senior side.
"I'm keen to be able to play footy again with the Hampden league being cancelled and also the warm weather and a change of scenery," he said.
"It will be tough at the start getting used it and playing with different players and we will possibly be in new positions too. They have won the last four flags so it won't be easy to fit in.
"I'm really excited to play in the different conditions. It will be nice dry footy and not wet and muddy footy like we get down here so it suits my type of play and the other boys too."
Koroneos said he was eager to test himself against new opponents.
"It will be good to play against different people as the last couple of years I have played on the same person each week, from each club," he said.
"Hopefully I can play some different types of players and become a better player."
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