QUEANBEYAN Tigers under-18s coach Paul Campbell says a number of the club’s young guns will be pressing for NEAFL selection next season.
Rookies Alec McCormick, Kieran Shea and Jonathon Bowyer were each honoured for standout campaigns in this year’s Rising Stars competition at the club’s annual presentation night last Friday.
And Campbell said the trio were just the tip of the iceberg with the next generation of Tigers’ talent set to roll off the club’s junior production line.
“We had eight guys from the under-18s play NEAFL this year,” Campbell said. “There were another six boys who played [reserve grade] and five or six who played with the [GWS] Giants so those stats speak for themselves.
“Even though we didn’t win the grand final, to have so many of the boys playing well at a high level is the sign of a successful year. There are going to be 10 or 12 players from this year’s [under-18s] side who’ll be ready to step up and play senior footy over the next year or two.”
In Friday night’s major under-18s awards, McCormick claimed the Alan Muir Medal as best and fairest while Shea took out the Robert Anderson Rising Star award. Bowyer was nominated as the club’s most promising player.
Predominantly a centre half-back, McCormick’s best and fairest win came despite not playing in the midfield role traditionally favoured for such awards.
“Alec may not have been getting 30-40 possessions a game but he showed all season that whichever centre half-forward he came up against, he was going to acquit himself well and get the job done,” Campbell said.
“Without mentioning any names, he came up against a couple of guys during the year who have played State Level footy and he took some pretty big scalps.”
McCormick is yet to make his NEAFL debut but held his own in a limited number of reserve grade appearances this year.