CREAM OF THE CROP

THE cream of the region’s promising young Australian football players will be out to make names for themselves when they take part in a major competition starting tonight.

The South Coast Junior Australian Football League is hosting a major representative carnival from tonight and over the weekend.

The Shoalhaven juniors will be up against some powerful visiting teams but the locals should play strongly.

Teams from the Sapphire Coast, Central Coast, Illawarra, Central West, Southern Riverina and Newcastle will all be represented at the carnival.

Matches will be played at the Nowra Showground, Artie Smith Oval and West Street Oval.

The competition will be played in the under 12s, 14s and 16s division.

Players come from the local clubs including the Bay and Basin Bombers, Bomaderry and Nowra. 

Traditionally one if not more of the local teams wins their division.

Last year in wet and wild conditions the under 14s Shoalhaven side reigned supreme.

The Shoalhaven under 12s is a team full of talent.

The likes of Ryley Madden (Bay and Basin), Saxon Perry (Nowra), Jack Batson (Bomaderry) and James Phillips (Bomaderry) are among the players to watch.

The under 14s Shoalhaven side has an impressive array of talent in its ranks.

Mitch Stahlhut (Bay and Basin Bombers), Kayle Rattenbury (Bay and Basin), Stephen Brown (Bomaderry), Matt Lawrence (Bomaderry) and James Batson (Bomaderry) are all proven performers.

The under 16s side will go into the tournament determined to do well.

For many of the local under 16s players this will be their last junior representative carnival as many will be playing in the seniors next season.

Liam Dooley (Bay and Basin), Jai Gleeson (Bay and Basin), Nathan Ford (Bay and Basin), James Eagleton (Nowra), Dayne Johnston (Nowra), Luke Godfrey (Nowra). Cooper Perry (Nowra), Mitchell Lawrence (Bomaderry), Slade Wellington (Bomaderry) and Nathan Hyam (Bomaderry) are all key members of this most talented under 16s team.

Meanwhile, the South Coast also selected a strong youth women’s side.

Shoalhaven High School siblings April and Sonja Rodda are members of the youth women’s team.

The Rodda siblings come from a strong football family and they are both outstanding athletes.

The girls would also be two of the more experienced players in the squad.

April is an athletic on baller, while Sonja can handle a number of positions.

Sonja is equally at home in the ruck or in the forwards.

They both have strong kicking games.

GUN PLAYER: Matt Lawrence (left) will be playing an important role in the Shoalhaven’s under 14s side.

GUN PLAYER: Matt Lawrence (left) will be playing an important role in the Shoalhaven’s under 14s side.

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