Outback Camp: Experience Shining Through For Defensive Backbone

Article written by Chris Guscott @Chris_Guscott

There are plenty of new faces in the 83-man squad at this year’s national selection camp, which has been a big encouragement for the coaches and the future of gridiron in Australia. However, there’s one group at camp which provides plenty of experience to solidify the team: the defensive backs.

“We’ve got a lot of depth, so (we have) guys that have played in Europe, guys that have played in other championship series’, a lot of guys who know each other so it helps to have that chemistry coming into camp already,” Wolfe said.


In a group of 13 players, almost half have played for the Outback before and all but one of those were at the 2011 World Championships in Austria.

Victorian Safety Scott Wolfe was part of that group, and recognises that with experience comes developed elements which take time to perfect.

“We’ve got a lot of depth, so (we have) guys that have played in Europe, guys that have played in other championship series’, a lot of guys who know each other so it helps to have that chemistry coming into camp already,” Wolfe said.

“We can rely on each other a little bit more to make the right play, make the right checks, calling the right coverages and relying on the right person to be there at the right time.”

Whilst the group of veterans is picking up where they left off, Defensive Backs coach Ben Walker sees them taking the younger guys along for the ride.

Outback camp defensive backs

“The experienced guys can help the younger ones through, there’s a good mix there,” Walker said.

“We’ve got Wolfey and Bluey (Damien Donaldson) who have played overseas. So while the current guys we’ve got have a lot of experience at home, as far as buying into JL’s (HC John Leijten) system, they’re certainly helping them through which has been great.”

However, instead of the younger ones becoming content with learning and observing behind the veterans, Walker has been impressed with their competitive nature.

“It’s making them compete a lot harder then what they’d traditionally would if they didn’t have those guys there. I guess it’s that typical fight or flight response, and I would hate to think that the guys that we brought in would take the flight option, but they’ve been digging in hard.”