Swifts junior footballer Sam Chatfield has taken another step towards his football dream after he was selected in the under-15 Indigenous state camp at the weekend.
Chatfield attended the three-day camp in Halls Gap, which included a visit to the North Ballarat Rebels on Friday.
Sam’s father, Tim, said it was a good experience for him to be involved in.
"I believe he went okay at the camp and learnt some different things he can use,” he said.
“It involved a bit of team-building along with other on and off-field activities for the group.”
The squad played a game against the all nations team in Ballarat on Friday and also spoke with Rebels talent manager Phil Partington about what it takes to play football at an elite level.
Chatfield was one of only two players from the Wimmera and Western District to be selected in the squad, which will be cut from 25 to 22 ahead of a week-long football carnival in Sydney from April 8-13.
Mr Chatfield said Sam was involved in a testing process before being selected.
“Fifty Indigenous boys from across the state met in Richmond on March 18 and went through testing, similar to the AFL Combine, which involved endurance and jumping,” he said.
"The whole program gives Sam an insight in terms of what is ahead of him if he wants to go down that path in the future.
"Ex-players Aaron Davey and David Rodan were involved in the program and mentored the kids during the three days.”
Sam will move up in his football development this season, to play in the Horsham and District Football Netball League under-17s.
Tim said it will be special to coach his son for the first time.
"Sam has been very successful in his junior football, and will step up as a 14-year-old into the under-17s,” he said.
"I think the knowledge he gained from the camp will be something that he does bring back to his teammates at Swifts.”
Tim said Sam will play in the midfield and drift forward at times during the season to increase his versatility on the field.
“His skills and his ability to play within a team are his main strengths,” he said.
“He has always been a leader and shown those skills on the field from an early age as well.”