Colac footballer in AFL mix

Geelong Falcons officials say Colac footballer Ben McCarthy is a chance to receive an invitation to AFL state screening after a breakout season. PHOTO: Brian Bartlett

Geelong Falcons officials say Colac footballer Ben McCarthy is a chance to receive an invitation to AFL state screening after a breakout season. PHOTO: Brian Bartlett

GEELONG FALCONS officials have touted junior footballer Ben McCarthy as Colac’s top young hopeful in this year’s AFL national and rookie drafts.

Falcons coach Andrew Allthorpe said McCarthy was a chance to receive an invitation to train in front of AFL selectors at a state screening in October, for footballers who received interest from AFL clubs but missed out on selection in the four-day national combine.

The AFL released the national combine invitation list this week, with Winchelsea’s Darcy Parish the only Colac district footballer among the 76 players invited.

“Ben would be a chance for the state screening,” Allthorpe said.

“He’s got all the attributes to play at the next level – he’s got great speed, he makes great decisions, he uses the ball well on both sides and he’s improved dramatically since we moved him into defence,” he said.

“I would be looking at him as a potential rookie prospect, because I think he’s got a lot of potential with a lot of development in him.”

McCarthy has had a breakout season in his second year in the TAC Cup with the Geelong Falcons.

After playing three games last season, he has featured in all 13 games this year, averaging 14.9 disposals a game.

The former Alvie footballer was slow to start the year, but a shift from the wing on to the back flank helped McCarthy reach his full potential.

AFL officials will put players through rigorous testing at the state screening in Melbourne, including fitness assessments, medical checks, AFL club interviews as well as psychomotor testing, including testing reaction time, decision making and peripheral awareness.

Falcons regional manager Michael Turner said he expected McCarthy to test well.

“We like Ben, I think he’s had an outstanding season, he’s done well off the back flank,” he said.

“He’s tall, athletic and he’s got good skills, hopefully he’ll get an invite because he’d test well.”

Turner said the Falcons were likely to offer McCarthy an extra season with the Falcons next season if AFL clubs overlooked him this year.

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