Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Four Saints selected for Bushrangers

Four Benalla Saints players have been selected in both the Murray Bushrangers and Victorian Country under-18 squads.

MONIQUE FREER April 24, 2014 3:17am

Benalla Saints players David Mennen, Caleb Marchbank, Nick Mellington and Brodie Webster have been selected to play in the Murray Bushrangers.

Four Benalla Saints players are kicking goals with selection in the Murray Bushrangers and Victorian Country under-18 squads.

Nick Mellington, 17, Caleb Marchbank, 17, David Mennen, 17, and Brody Webster, 18, have all been selected in the preliminary Victorian Country Squad, after a strong start to the season with the Murray Bushrangers.

As reported in the Ensign on March 26, Mellington was selected as captain of the TAC Cup side alongside friend and teammate Marchbank as vice-captain.

In an extra coup for the town, all four players travelled to Melbourne on Friday to play in the preliminary Victorian Country Squad against Darwin.

Only 10 players from Murray Bushrangers were selected in the side.

‘‘It’s a warm up for us, as it’s a trial to select the final squads,’’ Mellington said.

The squad will be groomed from about 60 to 45 players ahead of the championships in May.

While all four players had been selected for Murray Bushrangers in the past, they said it was still an honour to be named in the representative squad.

‘‘It’s still a massive achievement,’’ Marchbank said.

‘‘You’re representing the best players around the region, it’s a massive honour.’’

Benalla is the only town to field four players in the Bushrangers this season.

‘‘At Benalla all the club leaders have been through the Bushrangers,’’ Mellington said.

‘‘There is always a good representation from Benalla.’’

The Bushrangers have won two of their first three games, however, Webster said the side was getting stronger with each game.

‘‘We’ve been going okay, but there’s still a lot to improve on,’’ he said.

The teenagers all have the ultimate goal of being drafted into the AFL, but their focus remains firmly on balancing their Year 12 studies with football commitments.

‘‘It’s pretty tough, you’ve got to have good time management skills,’’ Marchbank said.

The quartet have been playing with and against each other since primary school, and are thrilled to be taking their football careers further.

‘‘We’ve always pushed each other, and we’ve always been in competition against each other,’’ Webster said.

All four players are still listed with Benalla Saints and will line up for the home side when their representative football commitments allow.

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