The season is far from over for Western Jets bottom-age stars Emerson Jeka and Darcy Cassar.
While the Jets crashed out of the TAC Cup finals with a 120-point loss to Oakleigh Chargers on Sunday, Jeka and Cassar will continue training in preparation for the AFL All Stars Futures match.
The game will pit the top 48 under 17 players from across the country in an all star game to be played at the MCG as a curtain-raiser to the 2018 AFL grand final.
The players have been divided into two teams of 24, with half playing for Team Riewoldt, named in honour of former St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt, and the other half playing for Team Bartel, named in honour of Brownlow Medal winner Jimmy Bartel.
Selection in this game is a huge indication of a players potential heading into their top age season.
“It’s a big thing,” Jets coach Torin Baker said. “It shows that they’re highly thought of by the talent staff that select the game and obviously it reflects on the year that they’ve had.
“If you can perform there, you’re putting yourself into good stead going into draft year.”
Jeka is a developing key forward.
The Altona product has proven his worth at an elite level in the AFL Academy squad. “He’s had some good form when he’s played at academy level,” Baker said. “It’s his ability to get separation from his opponent as a leading forward that is without doubt his best trait.
“He’s really sure with his hands and is a very nice kick.
“He moves well for a 196-centimetre player, so there’s a lot of talent there.”
Cassar, a Keilor product, will be a teammate of Jeka’s on the Team Bartel squad. Cassar has thrived in a variety of roles for the Jets, including high forward, on the wing or even on the ball.
“He’s got versatility to play in a number of spots and he’s athletically really strong,” Baker said. “He’s someone that is always involved in games.
“He’s had a good year, played every game for us, and he played at the under 16s national championships last year.”
The game will be streamed live on the AFL website from 10am on September 29.