THE next bunch of promising local footy players have been selected for an AFL Goulburn Murray academy.
Totalling 75 players in three age groups, up-and-coming youngsters were picked from across the Campaspe Shire for the academy.
A majority of those players selected are from Echuca and Moama clubs.
AFL Goulburn Murray football development manager Trevor Mellington said he is excited by the talent which will be on display in this year’s programme.
‘‘The 2018 academy coaches have combined to spend countless hours scouring the Goulburn Murray region identifying the best talent to be invited to this year’s program,’’ he said.
‘‘Performances at all of club, inter league, finals, lightning premierships and other representative competitions were considered to finalise the eventual academy list.’’
Those coaching the academy are Paul Clarke and Bart Phillips (under 13), Adrian Dohnt and Flip Evans (under 14), and Stephen Ash, Luke Moody and Cameron Stewart (under 15).
The pack will also be offered the chance of a lifetime on Monday when AFL side Richmond and its coaching staff come to Victoria Park for a meet and greet and 45 minute coaching session.
Academy under 13 player Noah Langborne plays his club footy at Moama, and said he was keen to get started with the rest of the squad.
‘‘I’m looking forward to playing with my mates and in the academy, because there’s some pretty good players in it,’’ he said.
Echuca under 14 age group representative Noah Long said the academy gave a good opportunity to improve his skills and enjoy his footy with good opposition.
Eli Spiers, an under 15 age group player, said his favourite part of the game was the camaraderie between players and coaches, and learning more about the game.
Along with the Echuca-based academy, there is also a Shepparton-based academy, with the same three age groups.
‘‘With training bases at Kialla, Princess Park, Rochester and Echuca, the academy continues to evolve to provide point of difference training to the elite juniors in the region,’’ Mellington said.
On February 21 there will be a parent induction and a test for the academy from 4.30pm at Echuca College.
To view the full 2018 AFL GM academy squads go to www.aflgoulburnmurray.com.au