TWO members of Richmond’s Next Generation Academy (NGA) have been named in the Flying Boomerangs squad as part of the AFL’s National Under 15s program.
Zach Dwyer from the Shepparton Swans and Kydan Atkinson from Mooroopna each gained selection after strong performances in the Victorian Kickstart and All Nations Diversity Challenge match, played in Gippsland on Saturday.
The Under 15s Boomerangs squad is for the best 50 Indigenous players at the age level nationwide.
Richmond Academy Coordinator, Todd Sigalas, said both players thoroughly deserved the opportunity.
“Zach (Dwyer) has worked extremely hard on his conditioning in the past 18 months,” he said.
“As a result, his footy has been much improved. He has great hands, wins contested football at stoppages and uses the ball very well.
“He has worked hard on his game as part of the AFL Goulburn Murray Academy in Shepparton and seems to be getting better every time I see him play.”
Both players hold excellent leadership capabilities with Dwyer named vice-captain of the Victorian Kickstart Team and Atkinson leading the Tigers’ Academy team last year.
Atkinson was also the school captain of the Swinburne Centre-based Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) in 2017.
The courageous midfielder stood out on the weekend with his hard defensive running and ball-winning ability.
“Kydan has a great desire to chase and is super fit, the longer games go, the more he asserts himself on the contest,” Sigalas said of the youngster.
The pair's selection comes after 10 Richmond NGA squad members were initially selected in the Diversity Challenge match on the weekend.
The Tigers’ NGA Zones include AFL Central, Central Murray, Goulburn Murray, North East Border, Sunraysia and Wimmera Mallee which are the Murray Bushrangers and Bendigo Pioneers catchments.
The Flying Boomerangs squad will be cut down ahead of the 2019 AFL National Championships.