Young Tigers soak up experience

Colac Tigers junior footballers Matt Garner, left, and Lachlan Simpkin will play representative football for a Geelong under-18.5 team.

GEELONG under-18.5 interleague coach Brendan Forssmann has urged Colac’s top young footballers to soak up the experience of playing representative football.

Forssmann has the reins of the colts’ side which will take on Ballarat at Ballarat’s Eastern Oval in a curtain-raiser to the senior clash tomorrow.

The side features Colac Tigers Paul Presani, Lachlan Simpkin, Brody Finn and Matt Garner.

The Grovedale junior coach said league officials took interleague seriously at all levels, with talent scouts watching from the boundary.

But he said his players should also enjoy their time on the interleague stage and not get overwhelmed by the occasion.

“There are recruiters there looking at these boys. They come and look at our game and the senior game as well. I fielded a few calls from guys before,” he said.

“We’re always telling them to put their best foot forward and do the right thing by the team more than anything.

“But we want them to enjoy the day. It’s not as pressure-packed as people might think.”

Forssmann said the four Tigers would have key roles helping Geelong overcome Ballarat.

Garner is the first-choice ruckman and will have Finn, a key position utility, as his backup.

Simpkin is the captain and will start in the midfield while Presani will play in defence, where he has been damaging for the Tigers.

There are five St Marys players in the side, meaning almost half the players come from either of two clubs.

Forssmann said Geelong would send a physical side to the clash.

“We’ve got good-sized boys. That will be our strength, we’ll be pretty good around the contests and we’ve got a few good runners,” he said.

“Hopefully we can get first use of the football and get it out to our runners and play an attacking game.”

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