The future was on show for Caroline Springs in a 41-point win over Point Cook in the Western Region Football League division 1.
The Lakers blooded starlets Tyler Gysberts and Tate Wood into the senior line-up and the under-16 eligible players had an instant impact.
Gysberts was one of the stand-out players in the game across half back, while Wood kicked his side’s first goal and got mobbed by his teammates in celebration.
Lakers football manager Marc Raak said the club was excited to see its juniors making the grade.
“It’s sensational for our footy club to see some of these young kids coming through,” he said.
“They’re going to have very good football futures.
“It might not be at Caroline Springs, it may be higher up like the Western Jets over the next couple of years.”
Gysberts took to senior football like a duck to water. The teenager played as a second or third tall and was effective one-on-one.
When it was Gysberts’ time to go for the hard ball, he did not back away.
“He was ready to go right from the start,” Raak said.
“He didn’t shirk an issue.”
In a see-sawing game at Saltwater Reserve, Caroline Springs took control of the contest in the second quarter to open up a 36-point lead at half time.
Point Cook would not go away, kicking six goals to one in the third quarter to get to within two points.
A steadying goal from captain Keenan O’Shea early in the fourth quarter got the ascendancy back in favour of Caroline Springs and the visitors did not look back, piling on seven goals to zip in the final term.
“Keenan kicked a nice goal early in the last quarter to get the momentum back our way,” Raak said.
New recruit Paul Medhurst had a big impact as a small forward for Caroline Springs.
The 37-year-old former Fremantle and Collingwood player did some eye-catching things inside forward 50 and finished with three goals.
“He’s a very classy player, he showed his experience and that rubs off on to the younger kids as well,” Raak said.
“He’s going to be a bit of a drawcard.
“He hasn’t played footy for I think three years, but he’s kept himself pretty fit, so he’ll get even better once we play a few more games with him.”
Raak was also full of praise for Caroline Springs ruckman Caleb Ellis and onballer Stephen Brewer, two of the sides tireless operators on the day.
Myles Dorman, Luke Edmondson and Brian Gill kicked two goals apiece for the Lakers.
Caroline Springs will travel to play St Albans at Kings Park Reserve on Saturday.
On paper, that is a daunting task, considering the Saints recent form and the fact the Lakers win over Point Cook was its first since May 11, but history says the Lakers are a big chance.
Elsewhere in division 1, Deer Park showed no mercy on Sunshine in a 133-point beating at John McLeod Oval.
Jase Perkins kicked seven for the Lions, while Kevin Klix and Chris Stewart booted six each.
St Albans’ four-game win streak came to an end with a four-goal loss away to Hoppers Crossing.
The Saints remain in the top five.
Albion is still looking for its first win after a 126-point thrashing at the hands of Spotswood.
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