The region’s best under-14 footballers gathered at Quantong on Sunday for the annual junior carnival.
More than 90 players from across the Wimmera Football League and Horsham District Football League competed on the day to draw interest from talent scouts and recruiters.
Two Wimmera and two Horsham District teams competed in a round robin competition. No scores were kept with a focus on individual development rather than team success on the day.
AFL Wimmera-Mallee football development manager Jason Muldoon said it was a successful day.
“From a development point of view it is a great opportunity,” he said.
“We see these kids in club-land all the time but to be able to put the best young talent together in one spot and compare them is really valuable.
“We also get to see kids from the different leagues face off which is great because they probably have never played against each other before.”
Muldoon said the success of the carnival this year as well as in previous years lends the opportunity to develop it into more than just one day of competition.
“We might look to expand it a bit now we are under the Western Bulldogs Next Generation Academy,” he said.
“We might try and bring the group we had on Sunday together with the V/Line Cup kids as a group.
“We can also try and do some sessions in the off season to hasten their development.”
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The quality of football on display was high at Quantong. Muldoon said their are promising signs for junior football in the region.
“I was pleased with what I saw. We have some very talented kids across both leagues,” he said.
“There are a few kids already over 190 centimetres which is something we haven’t had in the past. A key area will be developing those talls because AFL recruiters are really after that kind of player nowadays.”
The Baggies dominated selection with Hamish Smith, Jordan Barnett, Harley Healy, Jordan Fox, Jacob Gilmartin, Kobe Smith, Noah Sterling and Logan Dean all participating for the Horsham District teams.