Marshall's time in the spotlight

A CHANCE to play in front of AFL recruiters at Docklands stadium awaits Portland teenager Rowan Marshall tonight.

Portland’s Vic Country ruckman Rowan Marshall (left) pressures Metro opponent Peter Wright, who is touted as a top-three national draft pick.

Portland’s Vic Country ruckman Rowan Marshall (left) pressures Metro opponent Peter Wright, who is touted as a top-three national draft pick.

Marshall, 18, will line up for Vic Country in its final AFL under 18 national championships game against Western Australia.

The athletic ruckman held his spot after performing admirably in Vic Country’s 63-point loss to South Australia at Kardinia Park on Friday.

Vic Country coach Mark Ellis said playing at Docklands was a great opportunity for any aspiring footballer.

“I think for all the boys it will be a highlight,” he said.

“Some would have played there and some wouldn’t have ... hopefully they play there a little more often in the future.”

Ellis has earmarked Marshall for a ruck-forward role against winless Western Australia, as Vic Country attempts to finish its campaign with four wins from six matches.

The third-year Vic Country mentor said Marshall returned to the line-up last week and showed glimpses of his untapped potential.

“He had three shots on goal early and unfortunately missed them all so hopefully he has his kicking boots (today),” Ellis said.

“For a big guy he is very good all round.

“He handles the ball well below his knees, he reads the play and takes a good mark.

“He is not the tallest ruckman going around ... but he seems to be getting better and better.”

Ellis said Vic Country was eager to finish its campaign with a win.

It recorded a 62-point win over Western Australia at Fremantle Oval, the Dockers’ training base,  on June 15.

“They have come from all parts of the state and gelled together,” Ellis said of his team. 

“Last week against South Australia we just had a bad day and that can happen in footy.

“Up until then the boys had been terrific and good to coach.”

justine.mc@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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