Trio of Tigers in team

The Cobram Courier - - SPORT - By Patrick Tansey

Three Co­bram foot­ballers have been named in the Mur­ray Bushrangers un­der-18 pre­sea­son squad and at­tended their first train­ing ses­sion on Novem­ber 18 at Wan­garatta.

Luca Allen, Izac Ar­tavilla and Harry Beasley were all se­lected in the squad of 90, with play­ers from 38 clubs across nine leagues.

In a fan­tas­tic sign of the group’s de­vel­op­ment, all three were also a part of the un­der-16 Bushrangers pro­gram this sea­son, show­ing they have not rested on their lau­rels.

Mur­ray Bushrangers tal­ent man­ager Mick Wil­son said each player had dis­played traits AFL clubs looked for in mod­ern foot­ball.

‘‘We ex­pect all those boys will be a strong chance of mak­ing the fi­nal squad of 45, but even if they don’t there’s still op­por­tu­ni­ties for those kids to go back and play good Mur­ray league footy at Co­bram,’’ he said.

Wil­son said each had dif­fer­ent strengths and was look­ing for­ward to watch­ing them de­velop in the com­ing months.

‘‘Ob­vi­ously Harry is com­ing off un­der-16 Vic Coun­try rep­re­sen­ta­tion, so we’re look­ing for him to play a ma­jor part in our team as a bot­tom-aged player next year,’’ he said.

Wil­son said the sky was the limit for Beasley mov­ing for­ward, as the player ‘‘def­i­nitely has the ca­pa­bil­i­ties’’ to make a fu­ture un­der-18 Vic Coun­try side.

‘‘He’s ter­rific across half-back, his in­ter­cept play is out­stand­ing and he is very coura­geous in the way he puts his body on the line and backs into packs,’’ he said.

‘‘He’s com­pet­i­tive and tena­cious in the way he goes about it much like his older brother Sam and he’s a re­ally good kid, a strong leader and is pre­pared to play any­where for the team.

‘‘Luca and Izac are both small­ish in stature but are both ex­tremely clean and skil­ful play­ers.

‘‘Their strength is that they use the footy well at speed and that’s what AFL re­cruiters look at — how well the boys can make de­ci­sions, how they po­si­tion them­selves and how they dis­pose of the footy mov­ing at 100 per cent speed.’’

Wil­son be­lieved Allen and Ar­tavilla’s ex­po­sure at se­nior level with the Tigers this year would be fan­tas­tic for their de­vel­op­ment head­ing into the pre­sea­son.

‘‘If they’re ready for it phys­i­cally and men­tally, we think it’s a re­ally good part of their de­vel­op­ment,’’ he said.

‘‘We find quite of­ten the boys that are ready for se­nior footy get ex­posed to more pres­sure and phys­i­cal­ity than they would in ju­nior footy so when they step up to the TAC com­pe­ti­tion the tempo and in­ten­sity of the game is sim­i­lar to what they’ve ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore.’’

Wil­son said it was pleas­ing Co­bram Foot­ball Club placed its faith in Ar­tavilla, Beasley and Allen to make the step up to se­nior foot­ball de­spite their age.

‘‘It’s good they get the op­por­tu­nity and good that their club would con­sider them for se­nior footy,’’ he said.

‘‘I know they did well when they went up, but they also got to play fi­nals in the un­der-17s, which was good for them as well.’’

Fu­ture stars: New Bushrangers (from left) Fer­gus Pin­nuck (Strath­mer­ton), Izac Ar­tavilla (Co­bram), Harry Beasley (Co­bram), Josh O’Dwyer (Nu­murkah) and Luca Allen (Co­bram) af­ter mak­ing the un­der-16 squad ear­lier in the year. CO­BRAM Fri­day round seven Di­vi­sion one, v Nathalia at home:

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