Remember the name Harry Beasley.
The young Cobram star dominated at the recent School Sport Australia 15-and-Under Australian Rules Football Championships in Western Australia.
Beasley, 15, held down the full-back position exceptionally for Victoria, helping his side keep an unbeaten record on its way to securing the overall championship.
In fact, Victoria was never troubled in its five matches at the tournament, with its defensive unit remarkably leaking just 52 points for the entire week.
Beasley was rewarded for his role in the feat, being named in the All-Australian side after the championship had wrapped up.
‘‘They are an awesome family, his older brother Sam is in the (Murray) Bushrangers as well so it’s another one in the ranks I guess,’’ Cobram co-coach Josh Noonan said.
‘‘He’s 15 and a tall kid, so he really has the world at his feet.’’
Noonan said Beasley’s ability to adapt to his surroundings would have helped him combine well with his fellow Victorian defenders.
‘‘He bonded pretty well with the back six over there,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m sure he enjoyed his time over there and took a lot out of it.
‘‘He played a full-back or centre half-back role so he was on the most dangerous forward, and having a strong Victorian side would have helped him out a lot.’’
Cobram’s hopes of playing finals this year have been dashed, but Noonan knows the future will be bright at the club with talents like Beasley around.
‘‘One massive positive for us is the young kids coming through,’’ he said.
‘‘With his workload this year Harry hasn’t played seniors, but there’s no reason to say he won’t be playing senior footy next year, he’ll definitely be knocking down the door.’’
The Tigers will host Nathalia today at Scott Oval and, with conditions likely to be tough, their game plan will be all about simplicity.
‘‘Given the conditions and all that, we want to keep it simple this week and just fight it out,’’ Noonan said.
‘‘We see it as a bit of a chance to take it right up to them.’’
Another Cobram rising star, Tyron Baden, has been in superb form this season and could be a chance to poll well at the Murray Football League’s O’Dwyer Medal count.
‘‘It’s a tricky one, he’s definitely been playing some decent football but at the end of the day it’s an umpires’ medal,’’ Noonan said.
‘‘He’s definitely matured a lot as a player and person, he’s still only 22 or 23.’’
Ben Ryan will miss the rest of the year due to overseas travel, with Mitch Sim coming back into the line-up.
‘‘We’re looking forward to seeing the young kids keep improving and we’ll look to get the most out of our remaining games,’’ Noonan said.
Nathalia’s season continues to be interrupted by injury, but most unavailable stars should return during the next few weeks.
‘‘We’re a fair way from full strength, but hopefully after the bye we’ll have the majority of our guys back,’’ coach Craig Kellow said.
‘‘We’ll just keep building, and we’re confident we’re on the right track.
‘‘We’ve been able to cover pretty well for those injured guys and it’s a credit to the guys who have been on the park.’’
The Purples will not be taking any chances against the Tigers and will be looking for a fast start despite the predicted conditions.
‘‘It’s always dangerous travelling to Cobram, they’re a youthful and enthusiastic team so we’re definitely wary,’’ Kellow said.
‘‘If you give a side like that a chance by letting them stay in the game, then they’ll take it.
‘‘It will be windy and wet so we’ll have to play the smarter game if we can.’’
That task will be helped by the return of experienced players Phil Carroll and Alistair Corry and, with a win here locking the Purples in for a double chance come September, there is certainly plenty to play for.
‘‘We never look too far ahead, but you definitely want to aim to finish in the top two,’’ Kellow said.
‘‘The way our system is structured, you give yourself the best chance of making the grand final by doing that.’’