Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Seven Bushrangers in under-17 academy

Seven Murray Bushrangers will experience an elite level of football after being in the Victorian Country under-17 Academy Squad.

GEORGINA CAHILL July 18, 2014 3:10am

Mooroopna’s Michael Reidy has been selected in the Victorian Country under-17 Academy Squad.

Seven Murray Bushrangers have taken the first big step to pulling on the boots for Victoria Country’s under-18 side next year.

Julius Battista (Shepparton), Nate Trotter (Euroa), Michael Reidy (Mooroopna), Luke Smith (Congupna), Murray Waite (Wangaratta Magpies), Ryley Sharp (Myrtleford) and Brady Sharp (Myrtleford) were selected in the Victorian Country under-17 Academy Squad.

Murray Bushrangers talent manager Lee Fraser said the squad provided an induction into next year’s Victorian Country under-18 Academy.

‘‘It’s really an induction day for our 17-year-old’s across the region,’’ Fraser said.

The squad, which includes three Goulburn Valley Football League players, will compete in a trial game against Victoria Metro at Visy Park tomorrow.

Fraser said the squad of about 35 to 40 players would offer an insight into what is required at the next level.

‘‘The under-17 academy is another opportunity for talented footballers within our region to experience an elite environment; the academy assembles the most talented footballers throughout country Victoria,’’ Fraser said.

‘‘It is tremendous that members of the Bushrangers’ squad can gain this experience.’’

Fraser said the selection process was thorough.

‘‘A lot of it was based around club nominations and a lot of it was based on current form at their local club and at Murray Bushrangers,’’ he said.

Battista debuted for the Bushrangers’ under-18 side this year and plays for Shepparton at senior level.

‘‘Julius has great size and athleticism and has had an impact in his games with the Bushrangers in 2014,’’ Fraser said.

Trotter played in the under-16 national carnival last year.

‘‘Nate has good skills, wins the ball in close and can play down back or through the midfield,’’ Fraser said.

Fraser said Reidy had shown great signs in his appearances for Bushrangers this year.

‘‘Michael is a super athlete with the ability to play in a number of positions on the football field,’’ he said.

Smith plays senior football for Congupna in Murray Football League.

Smith kicked two goals in his return to football following illness last weekend.

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