GREATER Western Victoria Rebels' 28-year history has reaped one NAB League premiership.
Jamieson Ballantyne, a talented wingman from Portland, wants to be a part of their second flag.
The club, which joined the then-TAC Cup in 1993 as North Ballarat Rebels, is undefeated after four rounds in 2021.
Ballantyne believes the David Loader-coached side has the potential to become the second Rebels' outfit to win a premiership.
The other was the Adam Goodes-inspired 1997 team.
"It would be unreal," Ballantyne said.
"I was saying to my dad (Jono) on the way home from Melbourne on Sunday that I have never won one before and to win one at that level with the group of boys we have would be something you would remember forever.
"It is in our reach if we keep going the way we're going. It would be something that would be treasured very highly for myself."
Team is a key aspect for the Portland Secondary College student.
But he is also working hard on his game individually as he strives to get drafted into the AFL system.
"I was only about 14 when I started to think 'footy is something I'd really like to do' and I've put a lot of work in the last few years to try and get to the highest level," the 18-year-old said.
"I do a fair bit of extra running and I cycle a bit too around the beaches in Portland to work on my endurance and to help me run out games.
"I worry about my skills and systems with the group on Tuesday and Thursday nights."
Ballantyne, whose mum Kim Heinze and older sister Danica live in Geelong, travels to Ballarat every Thursday to train with the Rebels.
He drives from Portland to Warrnambool and then takes a bus with teammates.
It's a seven-hour round trip.
"In year 10 I moved up to Ballarat for about eight months and went to St Pat's boarding school but it wasn't really for me so I came back home," Ballantyne said.
"As I've gotten older I think I'd enjoy a change, a move away. But I do like it back here too.
"This year it would've definitely helped with the travel, being based in Ballarat."
But Ballantyne has turned a potential negative into a positive.
"I love travelling on the bus, you get to know the Hampden-Warrnambool boys a lot better and the Hampden group has created a pretty good bond together," he said.
"I have been involved with the Rebels for a few years now and this year definitely feels like we're a lot closer as a group which is nice."
Ballantyne is playing on a wing for both the Rebels and Hampden league club Portland.
Each team though has different roles for the budding footballer.
"At the Rebels I try not to push too far forward because part of my role is to take out the outlets (coming out of our) forward line," he said.
"If I can try and hold out and not push too far forward then it makes it harder for them (the opposition to get out of their back line).
"At Portland (coach Jarrod Holt) 'Holty' gave me a bit of a free card to go forward and try and hit the scoreboard."
Ballantyne is eligible for the NAB League, which moved to an under-19 program this season, in 2022.
"I'll try and push to get drafted (into the AFL) or play VFL but if that doesn't happen then another year with the Rebels is definitely on the cards for sure," he said.
Ultimately he'd like to be the next Ballantyne in the AFL following on from former Fremantle small forward and All-Australian Hayden.
"Hayden was a bit of a ratbag but he definitely had a lot of skill about him and was around for a long time so I'd love to try and bring that name back into the game," he said.
The 2021 season, at both levels, has been kind to Ballantyne too.
"I can't really complain - I haven't lost a game yet which is good," he said.
"At the Rebels first up we were 3-0 before going into the break and then I came back to Portland for a few weeks and got two wins there and then got another win on the weekend with the Rebels against Eastern Ranges."
The Rebels host Northern Territory at Mars Stadium in Ballarat on Sunday before another NAB League-wide bye.
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