Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Kickstart selection for Tongala footballer

Tongala footballer Ryley Cowley has been selected in the Victorian Kickstart Squad.

LUKE MCMANUS March 20, 2014 4:23am

Ryley Cowley.

Tongala footballer Ryley Cowley has followed in the footsteps of his older brother by earning selection into the Victorian Kickstart Squad, ahead of the AFL Indigenous and Multicultural National Championships next month.

Ryley was chosen alongside 24 other talented juniors from across Victoria and Tasmania set to compete at the round-robin style tournament from April 10 to 16.

The 14-year-old, who attends Kyabram P-12 College, made the cut on the back of an impressive performance at a recent training camp and practice match held at Richmond Football Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute.

Ryley will join his new-found teammates for a three-day training camp Brambuk — The National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap — where a final team of 22 players plus three emergencies will be finalised.

The weekend’s camp will include sessions focused on culture, fitness, strengthening and bonding.

‘‘I’m pumped. Really excited about being picked,’’ he said.

‘‘The guys that I will be playing with and against are really quick and all have great skills.

‘‘Hopefully I can play well.’’

Ryley, a tall and athletic footballer, was determined to make the squad ever since his older brother, Connor, achieved the same accolade three years ago.

Connor played in the 2011 championships at the Gold Coast, but had his campaign cut short when he was knocked out in the opening match.

Ryley, who finished runner-up in Tongala’s under 14 best and fairest award last season, hoped for an injury-free tournament and to perform well in front of national selectors.

The best-performed players from the championships will earn a prized spot with the Flying Boomerangs, a personal development program run by the AFL.

Ryley will also have the chance to earn a scholarship to Scotch College and a spot with the Bendigo Pioneers’ under 16 squad.

Luke McManus

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