DFS regulars Joel Grace and Oliver Wilson were recently a part of the unbeaten U/15 Victoria side at the National Secondary Schools Sports Championship held in Sydney.
Now officially members of a national championship side, the pair’s original selection was a major achievement considering the Victorian side is not divided into two separate sides – Metro and Country.
Enthusiastic participants at a number DFS programs, both of them believe they have learnt some valuable footy lessons from the DFS team.
“Meeting new players through DFS has helped heaps because it taught me to meet new players from different clubs and learn off others,” Wilson said.
“And this is exactly what I had to do for the Vic team so it has held me in good stead and I definitely felt more comfortable.”
It was a whirlwind call-up for ‘Oli’, after a best on ground performance for DFS against a Western Australian representative team, an impressed DFS and Victorian U/15 coach David Witchell had a chat with him after the game.
“I got asked to trial in the Vic team that same night and got asked to sign up and take it all in. On the Wednesday, after the DFS match I had to play so it was a bit sudden,” the half back said.
“The level (from local footy) is a huge jump … the Vic team is a lot harder than your local levels.”
His Victorian teammate Joel Grace said it was some encouragement from DFS coaches that lead to the 197cm tall ‘Stretch’ to trial for the state squad.
“Simon Corlett from DFS called me and informed me that the Vic squad needed a ruckman and suggested I try out for the Vic team,” Grace said.
“So I met all the [Victorian] coaches and they were happy with the way I played in the trial games.”
He said that training with other talented players at DFS has helped his footy.
“It’s really had a positive impact in my development. I like how it’s set out and the process that’s involved. I like the way it’s taken serious as well,” he added.
DFS coaching director Adrian Talarico said everyone at DFS were pleased to see the boys represent Victoria.
“We can see how talented these boys are and they really take their footy seriously. So it’s testament to their hard work and their footy development that they got the big-V call up,” Talarico said.
“Everyone at DFS were proud to see them go up to Sydney and do themselves and their state proud.”
The pair’s Victorian U/15 side were undefeated in five games over the seven-day long carnival.