Eleven players from the around the local area are currently training as part of the Murray Bushrangers TAC Cup pre-season.
Under 18 representatives Ely Smith, Bailey Frauenfelder, Isaac McMillan, Kayden Sharp, Jack Sexton, Harrison Meade, Finn O’Dwyer, Alex Byrne and Sam Mickleson make up the contingent from Yarrawonga. Owen Conway from Rennie and Nick Irvine from Tungamah have also beend sleceted to train. While in the Murray Bushrangers Under 16 Program, Will Sharp from Tungamah and Max Hemphill from Yarrawonga are participating.
Murray Bushrangers Media and Football Operations officer Stephen Hicks said the Murray Bushrangers pre-season includes 100 players trialling to make the final squad.
“The players began their Pre-Season in early November and have been completing two group sessions every week. The whole group trains together at Wangaratta on Sundays with satellite sessions at Wodonga and Rumbalara during the week,” Stephen said.
“The 2018 Pre-Season squad have been working hard through running sessions along with skill and weight sessions taken by Head Coach Leon Higgins and Assistant Coaches Mark Brown, Mario De Santa Anna, Dale Carmody and Daniel Preston. In the High-Performance Staff / Strength and Conditioning YFNC Senior Footballer Bronson Schofield is an integral member under Cameron Bishop.”
Yarrawonga Pigeons Senior Coach for 2018 Damian Sexton is excited about the opportunities for the players in the Bushranger’s squads.
“It’s great to see the boys testing themselves at the higher level of TAC Cup level,” Damian said.
“The players are working hard amongst the group and continuing to develop and expand their football skill and knowledge; and when pre-season recommences on January 14th 2018, will be looking to continue to train well and perform in trial games to make the final squad for the 2018 Murray Bushrangers.
“Having eleven players in the squad from the Yarrawonga Mulwala area is a great result for football in our area considering the MBFC zone takes in larger areas including Shepparton, Wangaratta, and Albury/Wodonga,” he said.
The Yarrawonga area has also provided females with the opportunity to train with the Murray Bushrangers TAC Youth Girls team and the chance to play in the 2018 TAC Cup season with the final squad being named in late February.
Elise Freeman and Molly Kennedy are part of the initial training squad and have been completing training sessions at Wangaratta, Wodonga and Kialla since early November.
Murray Bushrangers Female Talent Co-Ordinator Briana Cossar is excited about the squad with a diverse group coming together over the past two months.
“It’s great that females now have the opportunity to play AFL and to play at an elite level,” Brianna said.
“The pathway has already seen Ilish Ross become the first ever MBFC Female drafted when Collingwood selected her with pick 13 in the AFLW National Draft. With several players training with VFLW teams, it is a great time for female sport.”
The squads will break for three weeks before resuming training on January 14, 2018.