PLAYING senior football at 17 is no mean feat.
Manning the opposition's best key forward takes it to a whole other level.
Dennington teenager Tom Lee is embracing the chance to play on some of the Warrnambool and District league's most damaging goal-kickers.
He was thrown in the deep against Kolora-Noorat when he was asked to negate premiership player Ben Fraser and was deemed one of the Dogs' best for his efforts on Allansford's Robbie Hare on Saturday.
Dennington coach Ben Thornton said the promising defender had been a revelation.
"He's a 17-year-old kid who has come across to play with his mates," he said.
"He played juniors with us for a year and then went to Collegians and we got him back this year.
"We put him on Fraser a couple of weeks ago and thought he did really well so going into this game, we knew how important Robbie Hare is to their team so we put him on Robbie.
"Tom played unbelievable. As a young kid and key position back, he really stood up and when he could mark the ball, he marked it and when he had to punch it, he punched it and at ground level he was enormous.
"For a young lad it's a massive confidence-booster for him. He's a real key part in our team."
Lee, who returned to Dennington this season after a stint at Old Collegians, said he was learning the craft.
"I have been playing on a few big names which has been good," he said.
"It's been a big challenge. I'm trying to play my natural game.
"I like all the physical stuff and getting thrown challenges and working out how to deal with them."
Dennington has won its past two games after a drought which extend back to the 2019 season.
Lee said he was rapt to be part of the Dogs' rebuild.
"There's a big thrill around the club. Everyone is getting around the club and loving it," he said.
"Hopefully we keep up what we've been doing because the last two games have been the best two games we've played.
"Hopefully we get three in a row (when we play Old Collegians).
"It would be big for the club. A few of the boys I don't think had won two games in a row for Dennington so it's going to be big if we win three."
Lee, a second-year apprentice carpenter, is playing alongside older brother Sam, 22, who he also works with in the building industry.
"It's really flat-out but I am enjoying it," he said.
Dennington (2-3) plays Old Collegians (1-4) at Dennington Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
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