Nine local junior footballers have been selected for the Tatura Milk AFL Goulburn Murray Youth Development Academy this year.
Deni Rams footballers Charlie Hillier, Miller Fitzpatrick, Darcy McManus, Tom McCallum, Tom Bradley, Cooper Willoughby, Duncan Hughes and Bradley Poka, as well as Deni Rovers’ Raymond Murphy have all been selected for their respective age groups.
The program will consist of 10-12 sessions overall with a focus on skill development, game sense and personal growth.
The first session will be held on February 25 in Echuca with the program set to finish during the mid-year school holidays with the U15 V-Line program taking the mantle from July to September.
AFL Goulburn Murray Football Development Manager Trevor Mellington will manage the academy and said he was looking forward to working with coaches and players.
‘‘The aim of the academy is to connect the pathway in a more coordinated manner and to provide a structured and focused development program for the selected participants and coaches,’’ he said.
‘‘There will also be match play opportunities against similar academies in other regions.
‘‘Overall, this is an exciting addition to the football community and I am looking forward to a high service level being provided to academy participants.’’
Rams junior Harry Hillier recently finished a six-week training program with the Bendigo Pioneers Under 16s academy squad.
Unfortunately he is unable to play for the squad due to NSW footballers being unable to contest the Under 16s competition with the Pioneers.
Harry said it was a great experience and that he plans to attempt to qualify for the Under 18s TAC Cup squad next year.