Young Wimmera league talent to be showcased

GUN: Cooper Heard will be one of the exciting prospects expected to lineup for the exhibition match. Picture: PETER PICKERING
GUN: Cooper Heard will be one of the exciting prospects expected to lineup for the exhibition match. Picture: PETER PICKERING

SHANE Cross and Matt Summers agree the exhibition match between some of the best under-17 footballers in the Wimmera league will be a great chance for them to showcase their skills.

Each team in the league will be represented in the match to be played in place of game between junior Wimmera and Bellarine representative sides.

A squad in excess of 50 players has been training for the match with two even teams set to be selected following training on Thursday to ensure an exciting fixture.

Cross said he looked forward to the prospect of just seeing the boys play football.

“I’m not going to focused on a great deal of structure because I want the players to have one-on-one opportunities,” he said. “That means they’ll be able to play the football that they need to for this sort of game.”

Clubs each nominated a number of players from their teams to take part in the match and those selected will each get to keep their Wimmera jumpers. Summers said seeing top-age under-17 players battle it out should make for a great match.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for those players to test their skills against each other,” he said. “I hope it’s fairly free-flowing and open contest but at the same time we obviously want the players to show they can quickly adapt to play within a team of unfamiliar players. The last thing we want is for the players to play selfish football.”

The teams will be encouraged to stay around after their match in order to watch the senior Wimmera league side play Bellarine.

Cross said supporting the senior team was very important and that he hoped the young players would be left hungry to represent the league again in the future.

“I think what the league has done this year in terms of having development players train with the senior squad was really positive as well,” he said.

The first bounce for the match will be at 11.30am following the conclusion of the Wimmera Whippets match set to start at 10am.