On Friday morning, Shaun Crane will likely be tapping away on his laptop for work as the SWFL team bus heads to HBF Arena Joondalup for day one of the 2023 Nutrien Ag Solutions Country Football Championships. However Crane, who was appointed captain of the SWFL’s division one senior team on Monday night, wouldn’t miss this opportunity for anything. “It’s always a privilege to represent your league or association in football,” Crane said. “But it’s even more special to be able to lead a team alongside an experienced guy in Jon Meadmore, along with up and coming leader Zac Trigwell. “I’m very humbled but ultimately we have got a bunch of leaders who are going to go up and have a crack at it, so it’s pretty exciting times.” Crane and his SWFL teammates completed a light training session at Payne Park on Monday night before attending a jumper presentation in the Bunbury clubrooms shortly after. Crane is a fan of the carnival concept, having tasted success during last year’s title win over the Avon Football Association at the WACA. “I’m getting a bit older now in terms of local footy,” he said. “So the idea for me when I put my hand up to play in these carnivals is to get to know a bunch of different blokes. “Ultimately, every league in country footy has some good top-end players — so it’s really about which team connects the fastest, the one which creates the synergy, which often has the best results. “So connecting is pretty much what we’ll be aiming to do from the first bounce down.” If the South West outfit defends its division one crown, it will become the league’s 25th title. But coach Chris Kinninmont is concerned only about beating Avon in their first round-robin game. While the SWFL finished last year’s carnival unbeaten, Kinninmont’s side was 20 seconds away from being beaten in their opening game against Upper Great Southern, with a late Trigwell goal getting them over the line by five points. “We were pretty fortunate to get across the line that day,” Kinninmont said. “Winning on the opening day obviously sets up your weekend. On Friday in Joondalup, we’ll front up against Avon and Upper Great Southern, which are probably the two biggest associations outside of the South West. “They’ll both not be coming down for a barbecue either; both will want to knock us off, so we’ll be the hunted and need to be prepared.” Fixtures Friday, July 7 (HBF Arena Joondalup) 11.30am v Avon Football Association, 1.30pm v Upper Great Southern; Saturday, July 8 (TBC) 8.45am v Peel Football Netball League, 11.45am v Ongerup Football Association; Sunday, July 9 (division one grand final) 1.05pm at Fremantle Oval.