Cole plays key role in Victoria Country's triumph
A KEY player in Victoria Country’s unbeaten run in the AFL national under-18 titles, Tommy Cole is back in the Bendigo Pioneers line-up this Saturday.
Cole and his Victoria Country team-mates won all six matches to be the national under-18 champions.
Highlights in his campaign were games two and three against Western Australia and Victoria Metro.
“In both of those games I was able to get more of the ball and kicked a goal,” Cole said.
“To win the title was a great achievement.
“The pressure was high in every game, especially the last one against WA as we aimed to stay unbeaten.”
Cole played predominantly as an inside-midfielder for the Paul Henriksen-coached Victoria Country.
“It was a great challenge,” said Cole.
“The main goal was to win contests in-close (centre bounces and stoppages) and work the ball to the outside runners.”
Many of Cole’s team-mates at the under-18 titles had been together when Victoria Country won the national under-16 championship two years ago.
Pioneers’ clubmate Aidyn Johnson from Echuca was in Victoria Country’s squad for these under-18 titles, but did not play because of injury.
Cole and Johnson are both in the Brenton Sanderson-coached AFL-AIS Academy.
A big year on the football field keeps rolling on with the Bendigo Pioneers in Saturday’s TAC Cup clash with Sandringham Dragons in Oakleigh.
Cole watched on as Bendigo played Oakleigh Chargers last Saturday at Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval.
“The boys are really keen to bounce back from that performance,” Cole said.
Earlier this year Cole played for Geelong in its VFL match in Bendigo.
He may earn another chance with the Cats before the season is over.
Cole played for Sandhurst in the Bendigo Football League’s senior grand final last September.
The year 12 student at Catholic College Bendigo is awaiting news on an invite for this year’s AFL draft combine.