Trio of Tigers in team
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: