Two HFNL players make Falcons' list

COBDEN’S Paul Pekin and Terang Mortlake’s Josh Carlin are the sole Hampden league representatives on Geelong Falcons’ 2014 list.

Colac trio Tom Rieniets, George Steven and Dylan Hodge — brother of Hawthorn premiership skipper Luke — were the other south-west representatives to make the cut for the 50-strong squad.

No Warrnambool and District league players made the team which was announced yesterday.

The low south-west representation comes a year after a bumper AFL draft for the area. Four south-west footballers — Cobden’s Zach Merrett (Essendon), Terang Mortlake’s Lewis Taylor (Brisbane), South Warrnambool’s Louis Herbert (Gold Coast) and Kolora-Noorat’s Nick Bourke (Geelong) — were drafted last November.

Of those, Taylor and Bourke were drafted from the Geelong Falcons’ program.

Falcons talent manager Michael Turner said having just two Hampden league players on the 2014 list was “the lowest we have ever had”.

“When we had the region of Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Koroit, half our list was Hampden-based players,” he said.

“This year is a pretty disappointing yield we have had out of the region.”

Pekin, 16, is a bottom-age player. The Bombers’ ball -winner is the third shortest on the Falcons’ list at 171 centimetres.

Turner said Pekin deserved his spot after a strong pre-season.

“He has a really good attitude and wins the ball a lot, is a good decision-maker, his skills are OK and he can run,” he said.

“At his height you have to have those things. He is in the best 50 and now it’s up to him.”

Carlin, who turns 18 in two weeks, will miss the start of the season with a knee complaint.

Turner said the 182-centimetre flanker was an “investment for later in the year”.

The Falcons’ list includes brothers of four AFL players — Dylan Hodge, Zaine Cordy (brother of Western Bulldog ruckman Ayce), Charlie Curnow (brother of Carlton tagger Ed) and Aaron Christensen (brother of Geelong midfielder Allen).

It also includes Lockey McCartney, the son of Western Bulldogs coach Brendan, and Hugh Goddard, cousin of Essendon best and fairest winner Brendon.

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au 

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