The Centralian advocate Fri 20 Jun 2014
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FRIDAY JUNE 20 2014 SPORT 53 V1 - CAVE01Z01MA Future stars get chance to shine at national championships NT Under-18s pair Michaelis McMasters (South) and Abraham Ankers (Federal) warm up at Thunder training during the week ahead of this weekends clash with NSW/ACT in Blacktown Picture: JORDAN McARDLE Young gun prodigies have talent to burn and the world at their feet NT Thunder south development manager Stan Coombe shares his thoughts on the latest crop of Centralians to make the NT Under-18s squad ... Michaelis McMasters (South): Hes in the mould of a Charlie Maher and what better role model to have. In pre-season, Michaelis stuck right with Charlie in a 3km time trial so he follows him in more ways than one. Its a great oppor tunity for him to get experience heading into his draft year next year all sorts of doors could open up. Suited to a midfield on-ball role. Abraham Ankers (Federal): Hes played some good senior footy with NT Thunder and for Federal the few times hes come back. I reckon if he has three good games through the nationals and hes in the sort of form where he could hes going to attract a bit of attention. There would have been a couple of AFL clubs take note of him after his solid NEAFL performances, especially against AFL reserves sides. He certainly stood out in last years championships for NT and was named the sides best and fairest. Will likely play in the midfield or forward line. Errin Wasley-Black (exRovers): Another over-age player who was unlucky not to get drafted, or at least rookielisted, last year. He seems to be in better form in senior footy this year than last and is a more complete player. This is his big moment. He looks a lot stronger and has put on plenty of muscle. Hes been playing off half-back in the NT Thunder seniors, but may fill a key position role in defence, or even up forward if needed. Graham Hampton (exPioneer): Kicked two goals and got about 15 touches for the Port Adelaide Indigenous Academy against Clontarf last month. He plays with West Adelaide under-18s in the SANFL. Has a great family history with these championships father Graham Hampton Sr went away when it was called the Under-17s Teal Cup and got in the All-Australian side twice. Hes an outside player wholl likely line-up on a wing or in the half-forward line. Michael Tilmouth-Turner (ex-Pioneer): Tilmouth-Turner is another son of a gun, with dad Craig Turner a multiple Pioneer premiership player. He was a part of this years Footy Means Business program. Hes a tall player who should play a key position role and may do some ruck work. Graham Hampton EX-PIONEER midf ie lder Graham Hampton is primed for a massive under-18s championships after steadily improving over the past few years. Hampton made the bold move from his hometown of Alice Springs to South Australia about four years ago in a bid to further his blossoming football career. Since then he has tasted a mixture of Adelaide school football for Immanuel College, under-18s SANFL with West Adelaide and the learning atmosphere of Port Adelaide Indigenous Academy. Its a big step up and the coaches have been a great influence, he said. (Ex-Port Adelaide and Gold Coast player) Nathan Krakouer and Eugene Warrior have been great at the Power Academy and my school coach Steve Williams have all been a fantastic help. The 17-year-old certainly has plenty of talent in his family, with his father Graham Hampton Senior a Pioneer legend and his cousin Curtly Hampton nearing 50 AFL matches for the GWS Giants. I speak to Curtly quite regularly and he keeps me updated, he said. Hampton would love to follow his cousin into the AFL, but knows a big under-18s championships, starting against NSW/ACT at Blacktown tomorrow, is vital. Hopefully I get looked at and maybe get a chance of getting drafted later, he said. Hampton has been consistently good during his five SANFL under-18 Maccas Cup matches this season, kicking goals in all game for a total of nine majors. He is at is best when playing across the half-forward line and through the midfield and certainly deserves his chance at a national under-18s carnival debut. Abraham Ankers IT may be a case of third time lucky for Federal Abraham Ankers, who was selected as an overage player for NTs under-18s side against NSW/ ACT tomorrow. The impressive midfielderforward is one of few remaining players involved in the Territorys NAB AFL Under-18s Championship Division Two success in 2012. He got the chance to play alongside draftees Jed Anderson (Hawthorn), Jake Neade (Port Adelaide) and Dom Barry (Melbourne) when the Territory did the seemingly undoable and knocked off Vic Country. It was real good to learn a lot off those boys before they got drafted, he said. They were all great players and it was a good lesson to see how they all go about it. Seeing them get drafted has definitely given me that extra motivation, it will be great to get there at the end of the year but Ill just have to see how I play. The following year, Ankers was one of few shining lights in a disappointing under-18s carnival, winning the McLean Medal for best and fairest player in a winless campaign. The 19-year-old admitted while its his third under-18s championships in a row, it doesnt get any easier. Its not easier as such, but it definitely helps having that experience from previous championships and know what youre going to come up against, he said. Its just all playing consistent footy for me and helping the team get up and about. If I play good footy and put myself out there then the rest will take care of itself. Ankers has already ticked plenty of boxes in his first season of senior football at NT Thunder. He has played eight NEAFL matches since making his senior debut against UWS Giants in round one. Originally from Queensland, Ankers and his family moved to Central Australia a few years ago. He said he wouldnt be half the player he was without support from his family. Dad (Geoff Ankers) has always been pretty helpful, hes always been there to offer advice, Ankers said. My brothers Jackson and Izaac have always been there to bring my head back down to earth when Ive got too ahead of myself, my girlfriend is fantastic and all the coaches Ive had have all been great. Graham Hampton NT U-18 FIXTURES v NSW/ACT, June 21 at Blacktown v Queensland, June 28 at Visy Park v Tasmania, July 3 at Simonds Stadium
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