U18 TAC Cup Squad

Matthew Perry will debut for the Northern Blues this weekend in the Battle of Bell against Coburg.

Perry, 19, will front up for the Blues directly from the Northern Knights system, on a big occasion for the club.

A big-bodied midfielder, Perry has been in some standout form for the Northern Knights, registering 35 disposals and five clearances against North Ballarat last weekend.

From his last five Knights games, Perry has averaged over 27 disposals and featured in his side’s top three performers each week.

Northern Knights talent manager Rhy Gieschen said Perry’s performances at TAC Cup level meant his impending VFL debut was a justified reward.

“He’s a 187cm, a hard-working midfielder who played under-18 Vic Metro footy last year who was one which AFL clubs were potentially looking at last year,” Gieschen said.

“He’s played the last five game games with us and is really starting to string some consistent performances together in the midfield.”

“He had 35 disposals on the weekend as well as seven tackles and five clearances, so we’re really happy with what he’s producing and really pleased he’ll be playing VFL football this weekend.”

Sunday will see two players at either end of their careers, Perry will play his first game in Brent Bransgrove’s milestone and last game – and it isn’t the first time a Perry has debuted on a landmark day.

In 2014, Matthew’s brother Jordan made his Northern Blues debut alongside Chris Judd, and played nine games before crossing to Richmond at the end of last year.

Gieschen said the occasion for Perry this weekend will be a “great opportunity” for the youngster in his first exposure to senior football.

“It’s a a sensational opportunity for Matt – obviously circumstances have meant the Northern Blues match committee have seen fit for him to play in,” Gieschen said.

“It’s just another challenge for him to see what senior football is about especially to play against Coburg in ‘Boxxy’s’ final and 100th game will be an amazing experience for him.”

This Sunday’s 152nd installment of the Battle of Bell gets underway at 2pm from Preston City Oval.