MYLES Sinnott is soaking up advice from a family member who has walked the football pathway before him.
The Camperdown teenager - trialling for the 2023 Greater Western Victoria Rebels' intake - knows cousin Sam Walsh is just a phone call away.
Sinnott, 16, said the Carlton midfielder - one of the AFL's endurance specialists - was generous with his time.
"We catch up around Christmas and he does a bit of a skills session and gives me advice," he told The Standard.
"Last year I went down to Melbourne for the Vic Country try-outs and he came around and gave me a couple of tips."
Watching Walsh become one of the league's best players - he finished fourth in the 2021 Brownlow Medal - has inspired his younger cousin.
"It's pretty surreal but it gives me something to work towards and someone to base my game off," Sinnott said.
The Sinnott name is synonymous with Hampden league football.
Sinnott, a wingman who rotates forward, was part of the Rebels' under 16 program this year and is among a group vying for a spot on their NAB League list in 2023 as a bottom-age prospect.
The Hampden contingent started pre-season training in Warrnambool on Monday at the St John's Primary School gym and will have eight sessions under the watchful eye of mentor Ben van de Camp, who oversees the program locally, before Christmas.
Pre-season will move to Ballarat in the new year and the final list decided before the season.
Sinnott is determined to be in the selection frame.
"I just love footy - I just want to keep playing and doing the extra stuff," he said.
"I want to get to the AFL so you have to try and make sure you get invited to all this stuff."
Football has been a staple of the Mercy Regional College student's life as has cricket - he is playing division three for South West club Bookaar - and athletics.
"We had a really strong group of mates and every weekend we'd play backyard footy for three hours straight and then I started playing juniors at Camperdown and worked my way up from there," he said.
Sinnott broke through for 12 senior games in 2022 and wants to cement a spot in the Magpies' best 21 next season - if he's not playing NAB League - and believes "getting stronger and cleaner and quicker with my skills" will help his cause.
"Being on a wing, you have to be smooth and quick with your skills," he said.
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