Emerging Hamilton gun Taima Thomas is a determined young man with a bright future on the football field.
The 11-year-old Hamilton North Primary School student is bound for Adelaide in early August after being named in the School Sport Victoria (SSV) under 12 boys team.
He said it was an honour to represent Victoria and his community at the upcoming championships which will run over the course of a week.
"I'm pretty stoked - when I first started doing it I didn't think I was going to make the team so I'm really happy," he said.
"I put a fair bit of work in with training and playing. I'm pretty proud."
The highly talented midfielder and centre half-forward plays for the Cavendish Junior Football Club's under 14 team and started his journey in the Hamilton Auskick program.
He said growing up surrounded by the game and watching his dad Brad - a former Port Fairy, Hamilton Kangaroos and Hampden interleague player - inspired him to pick up a footy and give the game a go.
"I've always been around the clubrooms with dad and loved it," he said.
The youngster said he enjoyed the competitive nature of the trial process, which involved plenty of travel and commitment across many weeks.
"You have 10-minute quarters and there's four of them and you basically play a game multiple times, go up to Melbourne most weeks and do trials," he said.
"They look at how you position yourself and cut at the end of the day. It was hard work but I enjoyed it."
Thomas, an avid Western Bulldogs supporter said he looked up to two of the current stars for inspiration.
"I look up to Marcus Bontempelli and Cody Weightman," he said.
"Cody takes all those big marks and I'm inspired by that and Bont I like how he goes into the packs and he just goes hard for the ball.
"Cody bounces off people, has lots of energy and it's cool to watch."
He said his goals for the remainder of the 2022 season were to put his best foot forward and keep improving and contribute to team success both for his state and his local club.
"Hopefully we can win a flag for Victoria and then for Cavendish hopefully we can just make the semi finals and see how we go from there," he said.
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