TOM Templeton can pinpoint the reason behind his form rise in the TAC Cup this season.
The Portland teenager has established himself in North Ballarat Rebels’ midfield, playing the first four games of the 2014 campaign after notching six in his debut season.
“My decision-making when I have the footy was probably rushed last year and I have now built confidence knowing I can play at this level,” Templeton said.
“The coaches told me to use the kick a lot more. I used to handball a lot. Kick when clear is implanted in the back of my head now instead of a pointless handball.
“(I now have) confidence to back my skills and back myself in.”
Templeton’s impressive displays for the winless Rebels culminated in a call-up to the Vic Country trial squad.
His goal is to make the final list ahead of the AFL under 18 national championships.
But he’s “not setting too many expectations”.
Templeton, who is averaging a goal a game playing in the midfield, expects the Rebels to build as the season progresses.
North Ballarat plays ladder leader Oakleigh Chargers on Sunday.
The Chargers have won their first five games and ended Geelong Falcons’ three-game winning streak last weekend.
“I’ve been fairly consistent but as a team we’ve struggled a little bit which is disappointing but I think we’ll bounce back and hopefully win soon,” Templeton said.
“When we move the ball quickly and attack and have confidence in our ability, we are a really good side.
“We showed that on the weekend when we were level with one of the top teams (Calder Cannons) in the competition and in the second half they got on top and brought down our confidence and we didn’t have the belief that we could play the footy we wanted to.”
Templeton could play in up to four football guernseys this season.
The Vic Country aspirant moved to Ballarat for school last year and will line up for St Patrick’s College today. He could also return to Portland throughout the season.
“I started off in the (Tigers’) seniors and then played games with the Rebels and finished the year with the under 18s,” Templeton said of his 2013 season.
“Unfortunately we didn’t pull off a win in the grand final. It was a very good game.
“I hope I can play a few games (this season). The Rebels have a break every four weeks to go back and play for your local club.
“I’d be happy to play for the Tigers again.”