A DISAPPOINTING loss for the Bendigo Pioneers has been highlighted by the TAC debut for another two Campaspe region talents.
Leitchville-Gunbower’s Logan Prout and Echuca’s Brodie Kemp both played their first games for the Pioneers in the 89-point loss to the Dandenong Stingrays.
Prout, a seniors regular for LG, has been in stunning form for the Bombers, playing a key defender role against many more experienced forwards, and had eight possessions and five tackles on debut.
Recently called into the training squad, the 17-year-old said he’d enjoyed the chance to take his game to the next level.
‘‘Overall it was a good experience to see what the next level is like and was a bit of a surprise after only just being asked to come and train,’’ he said.
‘‘The speed of the game was a lot quicker (than seniors) but the physicality was not as rough as what I’m used to.’’
He was joined in the line-up by fellow Bomber Brady Hore, who made his sixth TAC Cup appearance of the season.
‘‘It was good to represent Leitchville-Gunbower in the team alongside Brady, who I have played most of my footy with making the transition more enjoyable,’’ he said.
LG senior coach Matt Hawken said Prout had earned his selection with hard work and consistent football.
‘‘It’s reward for his season, he’s come back from a broken ankle last year and become our number one defender,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a great opportunity for him but it was a tough day for the side.
‘‘But credit to the team down there, they’ve tracked him, seen his form and brought him in. He’s played on some top forwards and won the battles.’’
Echuca’s Kemp, 16, joined his brother Mitch in the side and continued a strong year of football which has seen him compete in the under 16 National Championships and make his Goulburn Valley League senior debut.
He had nine touches and a goal on debut, subsequently named in the Pioneers’ best.
Mitch Kemp was Bendigo’s best player in the loss with 17 touches while Darby Henderson continued his brilliant ball-winning form with 35.
Jobee Warde and Angus Byrne rounded out Echuca’s five members of the side, and Echuca senior coach Andrew Briggs spoke of his pride in seeing the club’s youngsters representing themselves so well.
‘‘It’s awesome to see the young guys getting the opportunities and taking them,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s one thing we wanted to see as a club, Ben Reid got his opportunity (in the VFL) and these guys are getting their chance too. It’s our job to put them on the map and help them on their journeys.’’
Moama’s Cooper Barber also returned to the squad this week with 14 possessions.
The Pioneers proved no match for the Stingrays; Dandenong led 51-0 at quarter-time on its way to a 20.18 (138) to 7.7 (49) win.