THIS could be the first step in a long, decorated representative football journey.
That’s the assessment from Leon Lourey who will lead Hampden Green’s under 16 team at the South West Junior Carnival in Hamilton on Sunday.
“I think when you’re representing your league, you’ve been chosen for a reason and I think that it’s really important for the kids to know that,” he said.
“A lot of class players have started here and progressed through to AFL level – Jonathan Brown, Hugh McCluggage and Jordan Lewis and these guys. It sets them up for a nice start into rep footy.”
Lourey is happy with the squad at his disposal with South Warrnambool tall Riley Nicolson, Camperdown midfielder Josh Place and North Warrnambool Eagles speedster Ned Bolden impressing at training.
“We’ve got a good mix of talls and mid-sized players and a bit of pace in there – when you’re playing 10-minute halves you just want to score quickly and move the ball fast,” he said.
Hampden White under 16 mentor Stephen Gurry expects skillful Koroit prospect Clem Nagorcka and Warrnambool tall Ben Howard to embrace the opportunity.
“We are really fortunate with the area how strong the kids are at the moment,” he said.
Cobden’s Oliver Darcy, who will represent Hampden White under 16s, said he was looking forward to “having a kick and trying to impress the coaches”.
Hampden will also send two under 14 teams.
Under 14, White: Braedyn Ross, Dylan McKenzie, Archie Lay, Riley Henry, Samuel Slattery, Lucas Williams, Henry Rhodes, Flynn Wilkinson, Ryan Stow, Jamie Lloyd, Tom Gedye, Harry Noonan, Darcy Duynhoven, Matthew Arms, Safari McVilly, Hugh Fleming, Issac McVilly, Simon Atkinson, Jas Lang, Tyler Humphries, Flynn Rowe; Green: Paddy Gleeson, Xavier Vickers, Justin Saulitis, Will White, Cooper Hoffman, Paddy Baker, Josh McGlade, Oscar Pollock, Marcus Matushka, Blake Rousse, Griff Dwyer, Harry Schrama, Curren O'Donnell, Oliver Martin, Harry Keast, Edward Johnstone, Tully Darcy, Jake Bateman, Finn Radley, Daniel Hawkins, George Stevens, Jag McInerney.
Under 16, White: Michael Koroneos, Oliver Darcy, Willem O'Sullivan, Elijah Dawson, Archie Stevens, Angus Gordon, Kieren Coburn, Clem Nagorcka, Jack Noonan, Matthew Sinnott, Mac Petterson, Logan Lilley, Jett Bermingham, Bailey Keast, Ned Timms, Ben Howard, Robbie Goldstraw, James Moloney, Lachlan Higginson, Saul Giblin, Brenton Dalton; Green: Ken Albion, Declan Gleeson, Sam Jewell, Rhys Ziegler, Aidan Grant, Logan McLeod, Charlie Moncrieff, Ned Bolden, Zac Hussey, Campbell Love, Sam Lenehan, Josh Place, Joel Reinheimer, Cameron Vagg, Lachie Gass, Jack Burke, Tom Anderson, Patrick Rea, Royal McKenzie, Riley Nicolson, Liam Meekes.