GEELONG FALCONS coach Andrew Allthorpe says promising Colac footballer Liam McCarthy has taken his game to another level in his second pre-season with the TAC Cup side.
McCarthy missed selection in the Falcons’ 2015 squad, but went on to have a successful season with Colac Tigers’ Colts side before earning senior selection in the GFL outfit.
Allthorpe said the 17-year-old looked up to the rigours of the elite junior system after another season of development.
“The one that has been really impressive on his return has been Liam McCarthy,” he said.
“He’s come back with a great attitude and ran really well.
“And you can see he’s got a lot of confidence from 2015 at Colac and that has really grown his confidence as a player, so he’s turned up ready to go.”
Allthorpe said he was thrilled with the calibre of talent from Colac district footballers vying for a spot in the Geelong-based club’s 2016 line up.
Nineteen Colac district juniors earned selection in the initial 90-player squad, which began training this month.
Colac youngsters Dylan Slater and Darcy Howard declined their invitations due to commitments with summer sports cricket and basketball.
Allthorpe said Colac’s Cooper Stephens was a standout on the training track in his first Falcons pre-season.
“Cooper’s been impressive with his running, but also with his skills,” he said.
“He uses the ball really well and has a great attitude for it; he listens and works really hard with any message that’s been given to him.”
Allthorpe said the squad would train together until Christmas, with officials likely to make list changes before the break.
“We’ve got 81 at the moment,” he said.
“We lost nine through natural attrition, but there’s not really anything planned at the minute.
“We’re going to have some trial games before Christmas and we do usually make a few list adjustments before the Christmas break.”
Meanwhile, Falcons products were in contention to earn spots on an AFL list when the Colac Herald went to print yesterday.
See Friday’s Colac Herald for a full wrap of the NAB AFL draft and a preview for Friday’s rookie draft.