Time kicking the football in the backyard has paid off for South Warrnambool brothers Cooper and Flynn Atchison.
The pair was named best on ground in the Roosters’ 13.12 (90) to 4.4 (28) Hampden league under 18.5 grand final victory over Koroit on Saturday.
Cooper, 17, the older of the two Atchisons, claimed the Ted Parker Medal as voted by the umpires for his stellar game through the midfield.
Younger brother Flynn, 16, found himself on the end of every forward entry to finish with eight goals and the AFL Western District best on ground medal.
“It’s great to get the win more importantly,” Flynn said. “But to both get the medal is a very proud thing for us.”
It was the second grand final the brothers had played in together and they were quick to shift the focus away from them and back onto their teammates.
“It was a really good team involvement and that’s why the score ended like that (62 points difference),” Flynn said. “I thought Cooper kicking inside 50 every single time was good.”
Cooper, who was the 10th South Warrnambool player to claim the Ted Parker Medal, was in disbelief that he secured the medal.
“I thought I stole the medal off him (Flynn) at the start so I was kind of worried about that,” he said.
Flynn received high praise from his first-year coach Tait Niddrie after the final siren had sounded.
“Flynn was outstanding up forward and to kick eight goals in a grand final is something that he will look back on fondly,” he said.
“As a kid who is still eligible for under 16s that is a fantastic effort.”
Niddrie, who is eager to keep the reigns of the Roosters’ under 18.5s side, said there was promising signs ahead for the club.
“Most of our group is quite young so there is plenty of future at not only under 18 level but also going into the senior ranks,” he said.
“They will be up there or there abouts in the years to come and it’s good to get them in for a premiership now and hopefully keep them for the long term.”
Liam Herbert, who is also a national level junior basketballer, and skipper Jake Hussey kicked two each, while code-hopper Jay Rantall, who played basketball for Australia at the under 17 world cup earlier this year, added one for the Roosters.
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