NORTH Ballarat Rebels have named 11 south-west players, including nine Hampden league-listed rising stars, on their 2014 TAC Cup list.
Warrnambool trio Tom Schnerring, Tom Ludeman and Luke McLeod, South Warrnambool’s Dom Moloney and Liam Howarth, Koroit’s James Gow and Jayden Brennan and Portland pair Tom Templeton and Rowan Marshall made the squad, which was announced on Tuesday night.
South West District league had Coleraine premiership midfielder-forward Eric Guthrie and Dartmoor tall Korry Smith named in the 48-strong squad.
North Ballarat Rebels talent manager Phil Partington said the club had assembled a capable list and expected tight competition for spots.
“We are very happy with where we have the list at this stage,” Partington said.
“There is a lot of potential and we’re looking forward to the year ahead.
“It is always a developing squad. We have a more even team.
“Last year there were a couple of standouts in the team and this year it’s a lot more even and competitive across the board.”
Partington said the south-west representatives were a credit to their local clubs.
Marshall, Templeton and Brennan played for the Rebels in 2013, while the other nine selected are new to the TAC Cup program.
Schnerring played in the Blues’ 2013 premiership.
“It shows the strength of the Hampden footy league at this stage,” he said.
“Most have played a bit of senior football.
“Two good stories are Schnerring and Ludeman. They missed out last year, went back under the tutelage of their local clubs.
“Both are Warrnambool boys and they played good senior football and now they have an opportunity to play good top-age football.”
Partington said Hampden-based Rebels mentor Chris McLaren and his team of helpers — Maskell medallist Ben Goodall, Danny Finn, Noel Mugavin, Bernie Harris and Ben van de Camp — had worked diligently to prepare the players.
They have trained twice a week at Emmanuel College during pre-season.
Marshall is one of three 19-year-olds on the Rebels’ list, along with North Ballarat City pair Sam Hooper and Sam Bennett.
North Ballarat has had success with its overage players the past two seasons. Horsham’s Jake Lloyd was drafted to Sydney in 2012 and South Warrnambool’s Louis Herbert joined Gold Coast last year.
“Rowan played seven or eight games last year,” Partington said.
“He’s grown significantly over the summer period and is now 199cm.
“We think he’s our number one ruckman and may play VFL this year.”
Smith, the first Dartmoor player on the Rebels’ list since highly-rated Greater Western Sydney forward Jeremy Cameron, is another ruck prospect.
The 195cm Ballarat Clarendon College student missed most of the 2013 season with a broken scaphoid bone.
North Ballarat Rebels begin their season against Geelong Falcons, which named Cobden’s Paul Pekin and Terang Mortlake’s Josh Carlin in their 50-player squad on Monday, at Camperdown’s Leura Oval on March 30.