Oscar McDonald makes VFL debut for North Ballarat Roosters

Oscar McDonald in action for the North Ballarat Rebels earlier this year. Picture: ADAM TRAFFORD

Oscar McDonald in action for the North Ballarat Rebels earlier this year. Picture: ADAM TRAFFORD

EDENHOPE-APSLEY product Oscar McDonald made his VFL debut for North Ballarat Roosters on Saturday.

McDonald, 18, a key position player who has starred for TAC Cup side North Ballarat Rebels this season, was picked as the Roosters’ 23rd player.

The Roosters enjoyed a 21.16 (142) to 9.9 (63) win over Bendigo Gold at Ballarat’s Eureka Stadium to maintain their place in the top eight.

 “It was pretty exciting,” McDonald said.

“I played forward in the first half and found it a bit hard to get into the game. It was definitely easier down back.”

McDonald, the younger brother of Melbourne key defender Tom, has been among the Rebels’ most consistent performers this season playing at both ends of the ground.

In 13 matches, he has been named among the side’s best players on 10 occasions.

“I started off a bit slow trying to find my feet but the last eight or nine rounds I’ve found some form,” he said.

The Wimmera teenager collected nine disposals - five kicks and four handballs - on debut, plus three marks and three tackles.

McDonald said the VFL experience showed him what was required to make the jump to the next level of football.

“I’ve got to gain a bit of strength to play at that level,” he said.

Rebels talent manager Phil Partington said McDonald’s VFL performance was promising as he pushed for higher honours

“He acquitted himself quite well,” he said.

“It was another opportunity to expose him to a higher level coming up towards the draft combine and state combine announcements.”

McDonald was not the only Wimmera product in the Roosters’ team on Saturday.

Former Horsham player Chris Giampaolo kicked two goals, while Hopetoun duo Coleman Schache, two goals, and Lucas Cook, one, both hit the scoreboard as well.

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