The young brigade is leading the way for Melton Centrals during the Riddell District Football League off season.
With the possibility of them playing senior football this season, Centrals coach Mathew Sproule said the younger players were doing what they could to impress.
“Training has been great and we’ve had 10 really good sessions,” he said. “We’ve had mid 30s to 40 players all but one night. There’s a stack of 16 to 22-year-olds who are training.
“They want to play senior football. Training has been really fun.”
Sproule said a number of players from last season’s under-16 premiership side were among those training. He said at least two would be pushing for regular senior spots.
“When I got here, the aim was to set the club up for the future,” he said.
“We should have an under-19.5 team this year … We pulled the plug on that team after round 12 last season due to lack of numbers.”
Sproule said they were still looking for more under-17 and under-19.5 players to join the club.
Centrals have been quiet on the recruiting front, focusing on bringing young players into the side.
But in a bid to address the lack of a full-forward they have brought in Dylan Weir. Weir previously played under Sproule at Portarlington.
“We haven’t gone out and got a lot,” Sproule said.
“We picked up a full-forward which is what we needed. I tried to get Dylan across last season.
“He and Blake Henderson will give us a couple of key targets.”
Cooper Pepi, who was one of Darley’s best in its reserves premiership, is the other key signing for Centrals.
Centrals have lost some experienced heads. Craig Harvey is heading back to his home state of South Australia, Josh Bamford is another out and James Micallef, who joined Centrals midway through the season, is going back to the Essendon District Football League.
Sproule said he expected the side to build on the work it did last season, when it won seven games – five more games than the previous season.
“I have no doubt we will be a better team,” he said. “But I don’t know if that will equate to more wins.
“We’ll play more kids and we’ll be a better team. We rate some of the kids really highly.
“The wins will take care of themselves.”