SOUTH Warrnambool’s reputation as a football factory is reflected in its 2018 TAC Cup intake.
The Roosters have five players – Ben Annett, Jed Henderson, Ethan Harvey, Emmanuel Ajang and Isaac Thomas – in the Greater Western Victoria Rebels’ squad.
Eight of the 10 Hampden league clubs are represented on the 48-player list.
South Warrnambool coach Mathew Buck said the Roosters were thrilled with their high numbers.
“For me, it’s a really great effort for the South Warrnambool footy club and the boys individually,” he said.
“They know they have worked super hard. Big kudos to John Atchison and Ben Thomas who have spent a lot of time training these footballers and taught them how to play.”
Buck said the Roosters’ contingent had “really large upside”.
“Jed Henderson in the last six months at training has really jumped up, his growth’s been incredible,” he said.
“His agility for a big guy is impressive.
“Isaac Thomas is an all-round talent with an elite kick, Ethan Harvey’s ability to win contested football is as good as I’ve seen in a kid.
“Emmanuel Ajang has real upside and an ability to read the play and intercept the ball.
“Ben Annett has had trouble with his body throughout under 16 football. He’s really explosive and does good things on the footy field.”
Three clubs – Warrnambool, Portland and Hamilton – have three representatives each.
Bottom-ager Mitchell Burgess will join his Blues teammates Matt Schnerring and Mitch Bidmade, who are top-agers, in the statewide competition.
Portland ruckman Tylar Watts was retained for a second year with fellow Tigers Harris Jennings and Connor Giddings also selected.
Hamilton Kangaroos recruits James Cleaver and Josh Mawson, who is yet to sign but has crossed from Port Fairy, and fellow Roo Lochie Dawson made the cut.
Scott Carlin and Isaac Wareham (Terang Mortlake), Josh Chatfield and Connor Hinkley (Koroit), Toby Mahony (Camperdown) and Matthew Clarke (Cobden) were also successful.
Izaac Ewing will represent Mininera league club Penshurst.
Rebels head coach Marc Greig said he was rapt with the diverse range of talent assembled.
“It’s been great to see just how many talented footballers we have in the western region of Victoria,” he said.
“It’s been an extremely hard task trimming our list to just 48 players, such has been the spread of talent throughout the region.
“That being said, we’re extremely happy with our initial selected squad, with a good mix of experience and youth within.”
Greater Western Victoria will start its home-and-away season against Bendigo Pioneers at Ballarat’s Mars Stadium on Saturday, March 24.