Myers set to fire at National Championships
“I’ll wait and see what happens with footy first.”
The hopeful words of GWS GIANTS Academy and Allies player, Brendan Myers who is currently completing work experience as an electrician.
Working on a career back-up plan – just in case – Myers is one of the players to watch during this weekend’s opening round of the NAB AFL U18 Championships, and one of AFL NSW/ACT’s top prospects ahead of November’s NAB AFL Draft.
Currently in his final year of high school, the 18-year-old from Wagga Wagga has paid his footy dues as a Wagga Tiger, a NSW/ACT Ram, and as a GWS GIANTS NEAFL team member.
As a 17-year-old playing in the NEAFL, Myers learnt quickly that he was going to be a target for the bigger bodies of opposition teams.
“Coming from playing Under 17s and having played TAC Cup as an ‘under-ager’, it gave me a bit of insight as to how the NEAFL might pan out,” explains Myers.
“The bigger bodies were quite difficult at first, but I started to work my way into it and got used to it pretty quickly.”
As an inside-midfielder, Myers is quick on his feet. Balance too, sits on his long list of attributes – a skill he takes onto the river during summer as he and his mates enjoy the thrills of the water.
“In the summer I do a fair bit of wake boarding and water skiing.
“Footy is pretty much all year round – pre-season starts fairly early – but we do a fair bit of fishing and camping as well.”
Friends and family are important to Myers, especially his grandfather, who he says he received his footy talents from.
“Mum’s Dad was asked to play for Geelong when he was a young fella, but he couldn’t go because he had to work on the farm.
Luckily for Myers, times have changed and with the NAB AFL U18 Championships starting this weekend, it’s lucky for Allies fans too.
AFL NSW/ACT State Manager of Talent and Coaching, Darren Denneman say Myers’ talents lie in his ability to read the game.
“He is highly skilled and can roll between half-back and half-forward fairly easily,” says Denneman.
“He has great awareness in close, good hands, and foot skills on both left and right.”
Denneman has coached Myers throughout his short AFL career as he has risen through the AFL NSW/ACT Talent Pathway.
“It has been a really good development program for myself,” says Myers.
“Coming through the Under 16 Rams squad, they really look after everyone and get the best out of you to prepare you for the later years.
“The program has taught us great discipline – it can be hard but it is all for the greater good.”
The greater good being, to develop Myers into a player able to be drafted in November.
“Certainty given his recent form at Academy level and the Allies practice match, he puts himself in Draft contention, no question,” says Denneman.
Despite the Allies list consisting of players from three states and two territories – 11 AFL NSW/ACT players overall – Myers is comfortable that they have prepared well for the upcoming Championships.
Unable to train regularly as a complete group due to distance, it was the Allies camp which took place last week, where the team has bonded.
During the camp, the original Allies squad was split in two, to face Vic Country and Vic Metro over two practice matches.
The Allies got over the line against Vic Metro but lost to Vic Country, who they will play in Round One of the Championships on Sunday.
“There is no intimidation there. We will just go out there and play our best.
“I’m trying not to play the game before it’s played, but I can’t wait to get out there and have a crack.”
You can see Brendan Myers and the Allies take on Vic Country at Blacktown on Sunday, June 11 at 12.30pm.