KEY PLAYER: Kurt Millard will play his 201st game for the Warwick Redbacks in the AFL Darling Downs on Saturday against Coolaroo.
KEY PLAYER: Kurt Millard will play his 201st game for the Warwick Redbacks in the AFL Darling Downs on Saturday against Coolaroo. Kevin Farmer

After 200 games, on baller key to Warwick AFL 2019 success

AUSSIE RULES: After playing his 200th game in Redbacks colours, Kurt Millard will be a key player as the Warwick team battles to stay in finals contention.

This Saturday, the Redbacks play Coolaroo.

Warwick and Coolaroo will meet in junior games at 11am and 1pm Saturday and then the senior teams will do battle at 2.30pm.

With one win from four games, the Redbacks need to start winning if they are going to feature in the business end of the AFL Darling Downs season.

Coolaroo have been one of the top teams in the league for the past decade and have only lost one game this season.

Millard and his brother Kris have been two of the constants in the Redbacks team for more than a decade.

Coach Ben Heppell said Kurt Millard brought a lot of skill and knowledge to the team's game.

"He is really driven on the footy field and can play half-back flank or on the ball,” he said.

"Kurt is a match-winner.”

One of the worries for Heppell this Saturday is that Millard is battling a hamstring injury.

"We will give him to starting time to determine if he is right to play,” Heppell said.

"Kurt is a former winner of the Holman Medal for fairest and best in the AFL Darling Downs competition. He is best on the ball charging forward.”

He missed last week after clocking his 200th game the week before in the win against the Toowoomba Tigers.

The Redbacks will welcome back Brendan Iles, Alex Cutmore and captain Andrew Bardsley for the clash with Coolaroo.

Heppell was disappointed in last weekend's loss to Highfields but happy with the turnaround at training on Tuesday.

"We had good numbers at training and it was a solid session,” he said.

At the start of the season Heppell was aiming for a top-two finish but right now, he is just aiming to make the top four.

"All we can do is take it one game at a time,” he said.

"The Goondiwindi Hawks are the side to beat and we lost to them by less than 20 points, which is a good sign for our team.”

Warwick lost to premiers USQ and 2018 grand finalists Goondiwindi in the first two weeks, so it was a tough start to the season.

See results from the weekend's game and national AFL news at www.warwickdailynews.com.au.