HORSHAM Saints and Greater Western Victoria Rebels footballer Thomas Berry had been invited to try out for the Vic Country under-18 squad.
Berry had his first trial game at IKON Park against Vic Metro in Carlton on Friday. He was shortlisted for the side after captaining the Vic Country under-16 squad in 2016.
The young footballer highlighted he aims to develop his effectiveness in several positions.
“I played off the half back flank in the trial game which I have played before but it is an area I am hoping to improve,” he said.
“I’m looking to improve my defensive work and then developing the ability to know when to play as an attack back-man.”
Berry is familiar with under-18 coach Matt Battistello, who coached him in the Vic Country under-16 squad.
He said the only thing that has changed is Battistello’s expectations.
“It’s exciting times, the intensity of the game goes up and there is a lot more bigger bodies,” he said.
“Playing against Vic Metro is always something I look forward to because the rivalry, no matter what competition, is always big.”
Berry is taking it one step at a time but hopes he can show the coaches he deserves to be named in the final squad.
“As a bottom-ager, if I am lucky enough, they will give me a chance to play against the top players from the year above,” he said.
“This will help me further develop areas of my game.”
Greater Western Victoria Rebels talent manager Phil Partington said Berry is a gifted athlete and can only improve with time.
“We were very pleased with how he went in the trial game,” he said.
The Vic Country squad will be cut down in four weeks after the side meets again.
Partington said Berry has a great attitude toward improvement.
“He wants to improve all the time, he wants to be the best he can be,” he said. “He would be a great asset for any side.”