BRIGHT FUTURE: Academy to develop junior footballers

Lorne premiership player Oscar Balderas is part of Colac’s new football development academy.

Lorne premiership player Oscar Balderas is part of Colac’s new football development academy.

THIRTY-THREE promising junior footballers have earned selection in Colac’s newly formed under-15 academy.

AFL Barwon has introduced the six-week program that will provide players with top-level coaching in Colac, and a pathway way to joining the Geelong Falcons’ under-15 team for the V-Line Cup.

AFL Barwon’s Luke Maher said the program, which starts next Sunday at Central Reserve, would save Colac players from travelling to Geelong for regular training sessions.

“Last year was the first time Colac was part of the Geelong Falcons’ under-15 region, historically they went to the Hampden region,” he said.

“We had 25 kids training with the Falcons’ V-Line Cup squad, which involves a fair bit of travel down to Geelong.

“So we put our heads together, and we thought rather than inviting all those kids down to Geelong for four or five weeks, we thought we’d start the Colac under-15 academy, prior to them starting training with the Falcons in early August.”

Alvie coach and experienced junior mentor Dan Casey will coach the group.

ColacWednesday13Apr022But Maher said the group would also learn from other top-level coaches.

“It’s all specialised training, it won’t just be running and fitness,” he said.

“It’ll be very specific game-sense things with high-level coaches, so even if they don’t go on to the Falcons, they can take what they’ve learnt back to their home clubs.”

Colac Tigers midfielder Cooper Stephens heads the list of 33 players, after he played for the under-15 Falcons as a bottom-age player last season.

Irrewarra-Beeac’s Edward Dexter, Simpson’s Brett Robbins, Otway Districts’ Jim Abraham and Colac Tigers recruit Will Mulgrew, who finished top 10 in last year’s under-14.5 Colac district league best-and-fairest count, also earned selection.

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