The best emerging talent in the Peter Jackson VFL will be on show in the upcoming AFL Victoria Young Guns Series.
The initial squads have been named for the three-game series – which will begin on May 5 – featuring players from all 15 VFL clubs and a number of TAC Cup 19-year-old players. Coburg is the best represented club with seven players in the initial squad, followed by North Melbourne with six and Casey Demons and Northern Blues with five each.
The series focuses on players 21 and under and will provide chances for squad members to further develop their game and showcase their skills in front of AFL recruiters. As the series progresses, there will be an opportunity to add talented community footballers to the squads.
The new Young Guns program will be overseen by VFL coaching games record holder Gerard FitzGerald, who brings 21 years of state-league football experience at VFL (North Ballarat, Casey, Port Melbourne) and TAC Cup (GWV Rebels) level to the role.
“The annual Young Guns game has developed into an important match over the years to provide added exposure for the players selected, and has been recognised in the football landscape as a must-see game,” FitzGerald said.
“This year we have expanded the program with the aim to keep players engaged and on the radar of AFL clubs, as they continue to develop and progress.”
Priority in the Young Guns series will be given to players who are yet to play regular senior VFL football, ahead of members of the squad already earning regular VFL selection.
FitzGerald will not only support the players in the program, but play a role in assisting the coaching groups that have been established.
Dandenong Stingrays Josh Bourke and Port Melbourne’s Trent McMicking have been selected to lead each team, with support from Scott McDougall (Gippsland Power), Darryl Wilson – (Former Bendigo Bombers/Strathfieldsaye Football Club Coach), Ross Gemmill (Frankston), Peter Mongta (Gippsland Power), Tom Curran (Coburg), Mark Wheatley (Casey Demons) and Luke Daffy (Geelong Falcons).
“We have done our best to recognise staff who we think have put some hard yards in and have the potential to progress and have a role at a higher level, like it has with the players,” FitzGerald said.
All three matches will be played as curtain raisers to VFL games.
- Saturday, May 5 at 2.00PM, Avalon Airport Oval (prior to Werribee versus Collingwood, 5pm)
- Saturday, May 26 at 11.00AM, North Port Oval (prior to Port Melbourne versus Casey Demons, 2pm)
- Saturday, June 30 at 11.00AM, North Port Oval (prior to Port Melbourne versus Sandringham, 2pm).
|Nathan||Boucher||Box Hill Hawks Football Club|
|Ned||Reeves||Box Hill Hawks Football Club|
|Geordie||Nagle||Box Hill Hawks Football Club|
|Tom||Freeman||Casey Demons Football Club|
|Kieran||Byers||Casey Demons Football Club|
|Aiden||Quigley||Casey Demons Football Club|
|Mykelti||Lefau||Casey Demons Football Club|
|Julian||Patterson||Casey Demons Football Club|
|Jackson||McDonald||Coburg Football Club|
|Damon||Cramer||Coburg Football Club|
|Max||Mitchell-Russell||Coburg Football Club|
|Harrison||Nolan||Coburg Football Club|
|Lachlan||Mitchell||Coburg Football Club|
|Jake||Page||Coburg Football Club|
|Nick||Dodge||Coburg Football Club|
|Callan||Wellings||Collingwood Football Club|
|Jack||Roughsedge||Collingwood Football Club|
|Daniel||Stanford||Collingwood Football Club|
|Sam||Ralph||Collingwood Football Club|
|Kalan||Huntly||Essendon Football Club|
|James||Peters||Essendon Football Club|
|Joel||Ottavi||Essendon Football Club|
|Edyn||Sibbald||Essendon Football Club|
|Cody||Henness||Footscray Football Club|
|Corey||Rich||Frankston Football Club|
|Jack||McHale||Frankston Football Club|
|Mitch||McCarthy||Frankston Football Club|
|Aiden||Domic||Geelong Football Club|
|Lochlan||Dhurrkay||Geelong Football Club|
|David||Handley||Geelong Football Club|
|Louis||Cunningham||North Melbourne Football Club|
|Fraser||Cameron||North Melbourne Football Club|
|Liam||Whelan||North Melbourne Football Club|
|Nick||Hogan||North Melbourne Football Club|
|Quintin||Montanaro||North Melbourne Football Club|
|Brandon||Ryan||North Melbourne Football Club|
|Ethan||Penrith||Northern Blues Football Club|
|Jordan||Johnston||Northern Blues Football Club|
|Alex||Federico||Northern Blues Football Club|
|Sam||Fisher||Northern Blues Football Club|
|Matthew||Harman||Northern Blues Football Club|
|Campbell||Walker||Port Melbourne Football Club|
|Ethan||Phillips||Port Melbourne Football Club|
|Matthew||King||Port Melbourne Football Club|
|Charlie||Thompson||Richmond Football Club|
|Hayden||McLean||Sandringham Football Club|
|Jackson||Hille||Sandringham Football Club|
|Cassidy||Parish||Werribee Football Club|
|Keegan||Gray||Werribee Football Club|
|Cooper||Stephens||Williamstown Football Club|
|Tom||Schnerring||Williamstown Football Club|