PREPARATIONS are complete for the three Ballarat lawn bowls exports contesting the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Matt Flapper, Brett Wilkie and Tim Slater have jetted off to Glasgow as part of a 22-strong Australian Lawn Bowls squad competing from July 24 to August 1.
Flapper, who now bowls with Ocean Grove in the Ballarat-Geelong District Premier League, and Victoria Bowling Club’s Slater are making their Commonwealth Games debuts.
Meanwhile, 39-year-old Wilkie will lead the men’s pairs outfit and bowl second for Flapper in the fours.
Flapper will skip both the triple and fours formats while Slater will lead out the bowlers with a disability triples side.
If recent international performance is a compelling measure of success, the world’s number-one bowling nation could be fielding its strongest bowls team ever to contest a Commonwealth Games this time around in the Northern Hemisphere.
The current crop will need to return home with three gold medals, one silver and one bronze medal to match the best Australian performance to date, that of the last home Games in Melbourne in 2006.
National coach Steve Glasson said knowing Australia’s past success in bowls at the Commonwealth Games filled his team with a sense of pride.
“It certainly gives us a sense of national pride knowing we have had teams perform well on the international stage and at Commonwealth Games previously, but we are not given any head starts or favours for past successes,” Glasson said in a Bowls Australia press release on Friday.
“Different conditions, different personnel and a different era says to me that we are in a different environment to any other
Games or world champs than ever before, and our guys know that the Australian bowls honour rolls await if the personnel we have selected on this occasion perform to their best in these vastly different conditions.”