Hamish Pearce, Michael Hendry, Dylan Cameron and Tom Haskew  have made the under-16 zone AFL team.
Hamish Pearce, Michael Hendry, Dylan Cameron and Tom Haskew have made the under-16 zone AFL team.

AFL juniors living the dream

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

THIS week eight of the best junior AFL players in the region have been busy staking their claim for selection in the NSW state team for their respective age groups.

Hamish Pearce, Thomas Haskew, Dylan Cameron and Michael Hendry have been working hard to impress in Sydney this week as they aim for the NSW under-16 team, while Sawtell trio Dylan Burkitt, Simon Taylor and Jack Gillingham and North Coffs' Connor O'Brien have been plying their trade aiming for selection in the under-15s.

Not only have the eight locals been playing in matches each day this week against other zone teams but they've also been participating in a five day live-in camp at Saint Ignatius College.

Over the course of the week, all attendees at the camp have been eating, sleeping and breathing football.

This camp and championships are the largest event on the statewide Talented Player Program calendar and the young men representing the six zones from across NSW and the ACT undergo theory and education sessions as well as physiological testing.

The local AFL junior league are chuffed with the progress of the eight players who've made it this far as all of them are products of the national Auskick program for beginners and have now graduated to the stage of being able to see their dreams of making it to the big time become a step closer to becoming a reality.

"Once identified as talented players they become part of the NSW/ACT Talented Player Program," team manager Geoff Haskew said.

"While all players may not be successful in selection to the Rams, they will bring back to the local junior competition improved leadership and football skills."



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