Murray Bushrangers Kyle Clarke, Mark Marriott and Ajak Dang will start preparation early for a potential berth at next year’s AFL 18-and-under championships.
Hoping to play with Victoria Country for the major carnival, the bottom age players will put their best foot forward this weekend during a Futures match.
Playing in the under-17s game against Victoria Metro at Essendon’s Windy Hill, Wodonga’s Hudson Garoni will also take part in the match alongside his Bushies teammates.
While Dang would have been a valuable addition to Mooroopna’s senior line-up this week in a winnable match against Shepparton Swans, he will be representing his state.
Dang has played three games for the Bushies this season, intertwined with six matches with the Cats’ senior side.
He will be joined by Shepparton United’s Kyle Clarke, who is already drawing the eyes of recruiters.
As a consistent member of a solid defensive unit, Clarke has pushed into the midfield recently, with his bursts of pace well suited to covering ground.
Clarke’s talent was evident as a junior having represented the Flying Boomerangs in 2015 and winning last year’s SDJFL under-16s best-and-fairest award.
Injuring his ankle in front of a home crowd at Deakin Reserve late last month, he hit back with a goal in his return match on Sunday.
Marriott will do Benalla proud as the ruckman continues to improve, having stepped up to replace the injured Floyd Bollinghaus in the Bushies’ line-up this season.
Murray coach Leon Higgins is pleased with Marriott’s development and believes all of his talents will impress.
‘‘I’m really happy with him (Marriott), his ruck work is outstanding for a boy his age and he’s always learning,’’ Higgins said.
‘‘They’ll be really competitive, they’ve already shown they can play at a TAC Cup level.’’
Players were advised last week of their inclusion into the representative match as the Murray Bushrangers break for a development weekend.
Buzz will also be around an Associated Public Schools side taking on an Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria team at Carey Grammar in Bulleen.
Mooroopna’s Laitham Vandermeer has been picked in the APS side having impressed while playing with Xavier College.