Golden Square clubmates selected in Victoria Country training squads 

GOLDEN Square is the only Bendigo Football Netball League club to have players selected for the AFL Victoria Country training squads.

Travis Baird and Clayton Anderson made the Vic. 1 squad following the BFNL’s 23-point loss in Ballarat.

Square skipper Simon Rosa was originally selected, but pulled out because of other commitments.

Peter Knights will coach Vic. 1 against the Victorian Amateur Football Association’s seniors on Sunday, July 7 at the Junction Oval.

The Hawthorn champion said the 37-player squad was picked solely on performances in this year’s country championships.

“It certainly hasn’t been selected on past performances, on reputation, it’s been selected on form,” said Knights, now in his sixth year in charge.

“Obviously the two Bendigo league boys had strong performances against Ballarat, even though Ballarat were the stronger team.

“It’s fair to say we know Travis very well, he’s been part of the Vic team on numerous occasions with me.

“It’s (Clayton’s) first time with me. I look forward to meeting Clayton – that’s exciting.”

Coach of Bendigo’s inter-league team, Jeff Brennan said having three players selected was “pretty good” representation and credited Golden Square’s football program.

“It’s certainly a tick for Golden Square and the players they get in the system there,” he said.

“The other great thing about Square is they support inter-league wholeheartedly.”

Golden Square also has the BFNL’s only two representatives – Hamish Morcom and Jack Daley – in the Damian Sexton-coached under-19s.

The under-19s play the VAFA’s 19s in the curtain-raiser at the Junction Oval on July 7.

The Vic. 2 minor leagues team will face a VAFA’s lower grades-combined team at Harry Trott Oval in Albert Park.

Heathcote DFL’s Ryan Semmel (Huntly) and Hayden Wright (White Hills) are in the Vic. 2 squad, coached by John Cossar.

Wedderburn ruckman Brett Strange is the sole North Central FL representative.

Carisbrook forward Matthew Bilton and Harcourt midfielder Matthew Giri, from the Maryborough-Castlemaine DFL, also made the 41-player squad.

Final teams will be picked after training sessions in Melbourne.

Ex-South Bendigo player Leigh Burke is one of five Ballarat players in the major league Vic 1 squad.

Ballarat had the second-most inter-league players selected, behind Goulburn Valley with nine.

No. 1-ranked country championships league Geelong had four players receive the call-up.

Five BFNL players were picked for last year’s Vic 1 squad after the win over Gippsland at the QEO.

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