THREE Under 14 players from Leongatha and eight Alberton players have already caught the eye of talent scouts.
The 11 players, Brett Thorson, Brock Anderson and Ben Perry (Leongatha), Brad Adwell (Kilcunda-Bass), Leon Wake (Foster), Lochie Scott (Inverloch-Kongwak), Jordan Hill (Tarwin), Bailey Patterson (Korumburra-Bena), Xavier Duursma (Foster), Dylan Garnham (Tarwin), and Max Mattock (Phillip Island) were selected to play in an All Star match, a curtain raiser to the Gippsland Power v Northern Knights game in Morwell on Saturday.
The players were selected following their performance at the junior interleague carnival in Sale on July 6.
Dean Duursma, who coached the combined Alberton, Warragul and Bairnsdale team said the Under 14s played a good game in wet, slippery conditions.
“Their skills got better as the game went on, which is what we wanted from their first real introduction to Gippsland Power and the induction process,” he said.
“Even though they didn’t know each other well, they played together quite well.
“My instructions to the boys was to go out, have a go and hopefully have fun.
“What we wanted to see and what was impressive was the boys’ discipline – in their tackling, running hard and shepherding, which is what we want to encourage in young footballers.”
Duursma said no scores are kept for the game, as it’s mostly about congratulating the boys on doing so well in the interleague carnival.
A best on ground award was presented to Xavier Duursma.
The players who were selected into the All Star Squad will be invited to try out for Gippsland Power’s Under 15 squad next season.
That process will start in November.
Players who did not make the All Star Squad will also be invited to attend information sessions and try out in November.
Five Parrots excel
Along with Brett Thorson, Brock Anderson and Ben Perry, two other Leongatha players were selected for the Central Gippsland team for the Sale interleague carnival earlier this month.
They were Mitchell Hoober and Cameron Olden.
Three Under 12 players were also part of the strong Leongatha contingent that contested the Interleague Carnival.
They were Royce Patterson, Colby Michael and Stuart Bright.
There is no further pathway for the Under 12 players.
Under 14 Parrot coach Rohan Michael was excited his players were selected.
“We had five Leongatha Under 14 kids selected through the four training sessions to make it into the Central Gippsland Interleague side,” Michael said.
“They went on to win the interleague competition.
“The organisers then chose the best kids from the interleague teams to play in the curtain raiser.
“It’s fantastic we have three from Leongatha – the biggest contingent of kids in the Central Gippsland League.
“Being chosen for interleague is a big honour, and being chosen to play in the All Star game is another step above that.
“Interleague, All Star games are all a first step to being selected for Gippsland Power, the TAC Cup and AFL.”