THE Wimmera will again be well represented in the 2013 TAC Cup football season.
Sixteen of the region's brightest prospects were named in the North Ballarat Rebels 46-man squad after an intense five months of pre-season training, where almost 100 players were cut.
Wimmera Football League sides Ararat and Horsham Saints have the largest contingent, with three players each.
AFL Victoria Wimmera development manager Geoff Burdett said he was delighted Wimmera numbers continued to be strong.
"It's terrific for the region and I believe a large number of them will be in the side come round one," he said.
Burdett said 200-centimetre Rats youngster Ignatius Stewart, who had only recently taken up the sport, was one to keep an eye on.
"I said to Jake Robinson: 'where have you been hiding him?'," he said.
"He's a skateboarder and a basketballer who hasn't been playing football very long.
"He kicked three goals in one of the practice matches and rucked well."
Laharum's Keegan Mason is another who has excited Burdett during the pre-season.
Burdett likened the developing key-position player to St Kilda legend Stewart Loewe.
"Keegan is a big bloke and he's got those big bucket hands just like Loewe," he said. Hopetoun's Jackson Fisher, Ararat's Jake Robinson and Walpeup-Underbool's Dallas Willsmore will get a second chance at under-18s level, along with over-aged Stawell big man Kyle Hendy.
The squad will undergo testing tomorrow before a training camp starts at night.
Their home-and-away season kicks off away to Bendigo Pioneers on March 30.