Miles Picken will never forget the moment he had at Warrnambool and District interleague training on Wednesday night

RISING STARS: Archie Parsons (under 12s), with captains Miles Picken (under 14s) and Ned Payne (under 16s) at the final training session on Wednesday night. Picture: Christine Ansorge
RISING STARS: Archie Parsons (under 12s), with captains Miles Picken (under 14s) and Ned Payne (under 16s) at the final training session on Wednesday night. Picture: Christine Ansorge

An unexpected message from Warrnambool and District under 14s interleague coach Cameron O’Flaherty was enough to make Miles Picken’s year.

O’Flaherty’s chat with Picken was to congratulate the junior footballer, who idolises Richmond premiership defender Alex Rance, on being named a leader of his under 14 interleague peers.

“It's a pretty good feeling to be named captain,” the young South Rovers midfielder said. “I wasn't really expecting to be named captain, but I feel really proud of myself that it has happened.”

Picken has already decided on the type of leader he wants to be.

“I just want to give everyone a go and recognise everyone for the things they do well and just encourage everyone on and off the field,” he said.

Dennington’s Cohen Boyle will captain the under 12s, while Kolora-Noorat’s Ned Payne will lead the under 16s into battle in Hamilton on Sunday.

Payne, who captained the Power’s under 14 side last season, said he was looking forward to a big weekend, particularly against the Hampden league.

“It will be good to see if we can get a few wins and show the other leagues what the District league is capable of,” the Power midfielder said.

“Especially against the Hampden league, as we are always looked down on against them, because we are a little brother to them, so it will be good to get the win against them if we can.”

Coaches Tim Parsons (under 12), Scott Kelly and Brayden Harkness (under 16) will lead the Warrnambool and District league’s rising stars in Hamilton on Sunday.