MITCH Lloyd knows the importance of having a bag of tricks as a forward.
That's why the Koroit teenager - aiming to make Greater Western Victoria's 2023 list - is learning from creative teammate Will Couch.
Lloyd, 16, is a key forward with a booming kick and strong hands while multiple Hampden league premiership winner Couch has built a career a medium-sized goal-kicker with an uncanny knack of popping up when his side needs him.
The Emmanuel College student, who is interested in studying sports science and physiotherapy when he finishes school, said he was grateful he could learn from the Saints' experienced goal-kickers.
"I have some mentors there at Koroit," he said.
"Will took me under his wing and he helps me build forward craft.
"He's been trying to help me with the flashy goals and trying to put people in the seats."
Lloyd, whose older brother Jamie will play for Northern Territory Football League club Waratah this summer, said he had identified areas of his own game he needed to improve to become a regular senior player at the Hampden league powerhouse.
He made his senior debut last season.
"I feel like I am not too bad at ground level but it's obviously something I could work on to get to that elite level," the 192-centimetre teenager said.
Lloyd was part of the Rebels' under 16 program this year and is determined to be part of its NAB League program as a bottom-age player next year.
Players in contention for the Rebels' final list started pre-season training in Warrnambool on Monday night.
They will have eight sessions under region mentor Ben van de Camp - Old Collegians' senior coach - prior to Christmas before training moves to Ballarat in the new year.
Lloyd said consistency on the training track would help him reach his goal of playing for the Rebels while cementing a spot in Koroit's senior side - as it targets eight consecutive premierships - is another aim.
School football with Emmanuel College will make up part of Lloyd's 2023 schedule too.
He played for the Chris McLaren-coached team as a year 10 student as it won the School Sport Victoria premier boys' division and earned a call up to the prestigious Herald Sun Shield earlier this year.
"Hopefully we can go back-to-back," Lloyd said of the school's goals.
"We have a few big names (coming back) - (AFL Academy member) George (Stevens) will be playing and Luamon (Lual) - so we should go all right."
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