Congratulations to 2016 Bottom-Agers Patrick Naish, Ethan Penrith and Jack Petruccelle who have been selected to compete on the MCG on Grand Final Day in the first annual U17 All Stars Match.
50 of the best junior footballers in the country will be on display in the AFL’s brand new initiative to further showcase the country’s top young talent over the Grand Final long weekend.
Talent Manager Rhy Gieschen is pleased of all the players’ progress throughout the year.
“To have three players selected to play in the All-Stars Game is really pleasing. I think we showed this season in the TAC Cup competition that we were really keen to promote bottom age players and this recognition of these three players is a good indication that our future is promising.” Gieschen said.
Patrick Naish is the sole Knight in the AFL Academy Program. The father-son eligible player continued his positive form in 2016 playing in numerous roles to highlight his strengths, and performing a near best on ground performance in the Victorian U17 Futures Match against Vic Country. Attending school at Ivanhoe Grammar, Patrick played in all TAC Cup games in which he did not have AGSV and AFL Academy commitments.
Ethan Penrith played in all bar one TAC Cup game for the Northern Knights this year. Possessing a 2.94 20 metre sprint, Penrith staked his claims for a place on Grand Final Day with an electrifying performance in the U17 Futures Match where his clever footwork dazzled the eyes of recruiters. Penrith has recently been identified by Carlton as part of the Next Generation Academy program, a new initiative created by the AFL, to increase the participation and opportunity for indigenous and multicultural footballers across the country.
Jack Petruccelle joined the Northern Knights after an U17 Trial Game held in mid-July. The Epping junior was one of just 30 basketballers that participated in the Inaugural Basketball Prospects camp at the Australian Institute of Sport. His lightning speed and incredible athletic ability led him to a TAC Cup debut against the Oakleigh Chargers less than a month later, kicking three goals as the 23rd player.
“All three boys have continued to train really hard with Anthony Pieobon since the TAC Cup season finished to ensure that they are in good condition for the game. They are quality young men and I’ve got no doubt that they will represent the Knights well over the 4 days.”
“We just want them to enjoy the experience of playing on the MCG on AFL Grand Final and do what they do well, which for all three players is take the game on and play really fast, exciting football.”
The match will be streamed live on afl.com.au from 10:00am on Grand Final Day.