Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Victorian duties beckon four young district footballers

Four promising Indigenous footballers are on the short-list to pull on the Big V jumper at the AFL Indigenous and Multicultural National Championships.

DAMEN FRANCIS March 13, 2014 4:05am

Four of the region’s most promising Indigenous footballers are a step closer to donning the Big V, after they were selected in the Victorian Kickstart Squad.

The Victorian squad was trimmed to 25 after a high performance camp and practice match at Richmond Football Club’s Korin Gamadji Institute earlier this month, with Anthony Walker, Ryley Cowley, Aaron Britten and Kai Madgwick making the cut.

A final squad of 22 and three emergencies will be named following a state camp at Brambuk The National Park and Cultural Centre at Halls Gap from March 21-23 to travel to Coffs Harbour next month for the AFL Indigenous and Multicultural National Championships.

The carnival pits each state’s most talented under-15 Indigenous and multicultural footballers against one-another in a round-robin style tournament.

‘‘We had four in the team last year as well, so it was good to see our boys getting identified at that level and getting national exposure,’’ AFL Goulburn Murray operations officer Nathan Turner said.

‘‘By getting in this team and going to the nationals they will be vying for a place in the Flying Boomerangs, so hopefully we can find another Jy Simpkin.’’

Britten represented Victoria-Tasmania at last year’s carnival in Queensland and is likely to have a prominent role this year as a top-age player.

The Shepparton Swans under-16 player has a powerful build and is expected to line-up at centre half-forward and full-forward.

Walker, who has joined Mooroopna Junior Football Club this season from Notre Dame, is a pacy winger or half-forward flanker and a good ball user.

Cowley finished runner-up in Tongala’s under-14 best-and-fairest award last season and is a tall, athletic defender, who offers good rebound off half-back.

Madgwick is a bottom age inside midfielder for Mooroopna and will gain plenty from the experience.

The upcoming state camp will include a raft of education, cultural strengthening and bonding sessions.

The squad includes three players from Tasmania, along with players from Melbourne, Lakes Entrance and Warrnambool.

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