Portland’s Toby Oakley and Cobden’s Patrick Smith are set to lead the Hampden under 18 interleague team

LEADERS: Toby Oakley (left) and Patrick Smith were named as captain and vice captain of the Hampden under 18 Interleague side on Tuesday night.
LEADERS: Toby Oakley (left) and Patrick Smith were named as captain and vice captain of the Hampden under 18 Interleague side on Tuesday night.

Portland’s Toby Oakley and Cobden’s Patrick Smith will lead the Hampden under 18 interleague team into battle against Bendigo Football Netball League on Saturday.

The pair were told by Bottle Greens coach Ben van de Camp on Tuesday night that they would be the on-field leaders for the big clash. 

van de Camp appointed Oakley as captain while Smith was appointed vice-captain for Saturday’s match at Reid Oval.

Oakley, who had previously represented Portland Junior Football Association in interleague, said this was his first time in a leadership role and that he was excited to give it a go.

“Its a pretty good feeling,” he told The Standard.

“I’m feeling a little bit nervous about it, but I’ll just try and go about my normal game and try to do my best as a leader.”

Smith, who has previously had a leadership role with Cobden, said he was honoured to be named one of the league’s captains and that he would let his actions do the talking.

“I want to lead through my actions, as I’m not a massive talker and I like to lead by example,” the former Hampden junior interleague representive said.

van de Camp said Oakley and Smith made an instant impact on him from the moment he first witnessed the pair at training. 

“The biggest thing that they both provide is voice and direction,” the experienced coach said. 

“Right from the first training session both boys really stood out as being on-field leaders and when you have a team that comes together from different clubs there are going to be some boys who are a bit quieter.

“But these two boys early on were giving direction on the field and asserted themselves really well as being strong people and people who the other boys really looked up to.

“That is what we really liked about the both of them and particularly Toby early on at training.”