MULTI-TALENTED teenager Jay Rantall is throwing himself into TAC Cup pre-season with Greater Western Victoria Rebels.
The South Warrnambool footballer is vying for a spot as a top-age player in 2019 after spending most of this year dedicating himself to basketball.
Rantall, 17, represented Australia in basketball at the FIBA Under 17 World Cup in July, donning the green and gold jersey as a shooting guard.
He is among a 40-strong group of Hampden-based under 18 prospects training twice a week in Warrnambool prior to Christmas in a bid to earn a spot on the Rebels’ final list.
Rantall, a midfielder-forward, said he was keen to play a high level of football.
“I haven’t really done it for a while so it would be good to get a few games under my belt,” he said during training at Warrnambool’s Deakin University campus on Wednesday.
“I am still unsure (of what my future holds) at the moment.
“I am just enjoying pre-season with the boys, getting the legs ticking over, getting the ball moving.
“This is our fourth session. We start off with Mat Battistello and do a bit of kicking craft and then we go out into three groups and do a bit of ball work, tackling and finish with a bit of conditioning.”
Camperdown’s Toby Mahony is another top-age contender eager to “develop skills and learn”.
The tall midfielder was given an opportunity in his first season.
“It feels like I have learned a heap from last year and I just feel a lot more ready for it this time around,” he said of the intensity of the TAC Cup system.
“I know what I’ve got to do to get myself ready for it.”
Players, under region coach Ben van de Camp, were put throught their paces in pelting rain on Wednesday.
They will hit the track again on Monday at Warrnambool College.