Deni dozen chosen for academy

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

The young footy talent in Deniliquin and district has been recognised with 12 players selected for the fourth year of the AFL Goulburn Murray Youth Development Academy.

The program will consist of 10 to 12 sessions overall with a focus on skill development, game sense and personal growth.

The players were selected in three different age groups, ranging from Under 13s, Under 14s and Under 15s.

Selected players from the Deniliquin region were as follows:

Under 13s - Noah Bradley, Tyson Willis, Marcus Moorse (Deni Rams), Cam Wills (Deni Rovers).

Under 14s - Charlie Hillier, Miller Fitzpatrick (Deni Rams), Alvin Cooper (Mathoura).

Under 15s - Tom Bradley, Darcy McManus, Tom McCallum (Deni Rams), Raymond Murphy (Deni Rovers), Tomas Banks (Mathoura).

The first session will be held on February 12 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 said he was excited by the talent which would be on display in this year’s program.

‘‘The 2019 academy coaches have combined to spend countless hours scouring the entire Goulburn Murray region identifying the best talent to be invited to this year’s program,’’ he said.

‘‘Performances at all of club, interleague, finals, lightning premierships and other representative competitions were considered to finalise the eventual academy list.

‘‘We all recognise that selection processes are never an exact science.

‘‘However, our coaches have done an outstanding job at trying to sift through all of the available data and observations to put together lists which they believe best reflect the depth and breadth of talent across the whole of the Goulburn Murray.’’

The academy welcomes two new coaches in 2019. Simon Grumley replaces the retiring Damien Saxon at the Under 13 level, while a shuffle of positions has resulted in Paul McInneny joining the Under 14 staff, effectively replacing Daryl Chalcraft.

‘‘AFL Goulburn Murray acknowledges the outstanding contribution of both Daryl and Damien and we wish both of them all the best in their future coaching endeavours,’’ Mellington said.

‘‘The 2018 program will commence the week of 11th February with the parent induction program and some testing procedures facilitated by the Murray Bushrangers and Bendigo Pioneers TAC Cup High Performance staff.’’