TWO teenage footballers - one an in-and-under midfielder, the other a running half-back - are hoping to play significant roles in Warrnambool's preliminary final against North Warrnambool Eagles on Saturday.
Warrnambool's Mitch Bidmade and Mitch Burgess were among the Blues' best in their gritty overtime first semi-final victory.
Bidmade and Burgess are both graduates of the NAB League program.
Bidmade finished with Greater Western Victoria Rebels in 2018 and Burgess, who harbours AFL ambitions, enjoyed a strong top-age season this year.
Both teenagers - carpenter apprentice Bidmade and year 12 student Burgess - feel comfortable among their more experienced Warrnambool teammates.
Bidmade expects Burgess to play a big part against the Eagles at Friendly Societies' Park, sighting his run and carry as his biggest asset.
"He's improved his kicking I reckon this year so that's a plus," he said.
Burgess heaped praise on Bidmade, saying the determined ball winner made his job easier.
"'Biddy' is just a big in-and-under midfielder and I get to run and carry but it doesn't happen unless 'Biddy' flicks it out and does the hard work," he said.
"He is really reliable wherever he is. You can put him anywhere and he'll do his job and play well."
Burgess averaged 16 disposals in his 13 games for the Rebels in 2019, including a season-best 26 against Calder Cannons.
He's played seven games for Warrnambool and earned best-on-ground honours in his past three appearances.
"I played mostly half-back up there and came back here and they moved me down back late in the season and I started to feel a bit more comfortable," Burgess said.
"Everyone is backing me and feel like I can do what I am confident with."
Bidmade, who has worked on his tackling and overhead marking, has kicked 14 goals in 20 games for the Blues this season.
He said training regularly with his Hampden league teammates had helped after travelling to Ballarat for NAB League commitments in recent seasons.
"It's been heaps easier, training Tuesday and Thursday down here has been a lot better and trying to fit in has been easier," he said.
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