KOROIT teenager Jarrod Korewha wants his football, not his mullet, to stand out at the AFL under 16 national championships.
The Saints utility is one of four Hampden league footballers named in the final Vic Country squad for the Gold Coast-based competition.
South Warrnambool pair Kyden Jarvis and Shannon Beks and Cobden’s Sean Darcy were also selected in the 25-player combination for the July 4 to 12 carnival.
Jarrod, a versatile 189-centimetre prospect with strong running ability, said he was excited to don the Vic Country colours for the first time.
He thrust his name at Vic Country selectors after starring for North Ballarat Rebels at the under 16 country championships in April.
“It means a bit. My goal this year was to make the Vic Country side after not making (the under 15s) last year,” Jarrod said. “It will be an eye-opener to what is ahead in the TAC Cup.
“My goal is to perform to a level that is expected and playing my role is really, really important for the team.”
Vic Country coach Paul Henriksen has earmarked Jarrod, a Brauer College student, for a forward role.
Jarrod, who rated his height and athleticism as his greatest attributes, said he enjoyed playing in attack.
“I hope to play a bit more forward than back because I am more comfortable there than back,” he said. “But I suppose I’d rather play anywhere than not at all.”
The 2012 Hampden league under 14 best and fairest runner-up said he’d “definitely keep” his eye-catching mullet for the carnival.
Henriksen said Jarrod wasn’t 100 per cent before Vic Country’s practice match with indigenous side Laguntas at Punt Road on Sunday.
“He had back soreness so we will monitor that and make sure he’s fit and ready to go,” he said.
Henriksen said Kyden would play predominantly as a small forward at the carnival, while Shannon and Sean — already a towering 200cm — were developing talls.
The Terang-based coach said Shannon had the capacity to play as a high leading forward and Sean was a promising ruckman.
“On Sunday (against Laguntas) Sean got his hands first to the ball at most stoppages,” Henriksen said.
“His area of development is moving around the ground and being a marking option and getting from contest to contest.”
Vic Country will play three games at the carnival — two at Carrara Stadium, the home of the Gold Coast Suns.
It will play a practice match against Vic Metro on June 21 and spend half at day at Collingwood before the tournament.
Henriksen said Vic Country had assembled a capable squad.
“We are always rated fourth against Western Australia, South Australia and Vic Metro,” he said.
“The reason behind that is a lot of their squads have regular training during the week.
“We are always a little bit behind the eight-ball. We have to work really hard at moulding the group.”