Four Pioneers in Vic Country Squad

Big V: Tongala star Harley Reid and Kyabram’s Charlie Barnett are among four Goulburn Valley representatives in the Vic Country under-18 team. Photo by Steve Huntley

Kyabram’s Charlie Barnett and Tongala’s Harley Reid have been named among four Goulburn Valley footballers in the Victoria Country team to contest the National Under-18 Championships next month.

The 40-strong squad also includes Echuca pair Noah Long and Jed Brereton, who play alongside Barnett and Reid with the Bendigo Pioneers in the NAB League.

Reid was judged by many as best-on-ground in the Pioneers’ 10-point loss to the Murray Bushrangers at Mildura on Sunday, but the remaining three did not play in the match.

Murray Bushrangers have two members in the squad, Caleb Mitchell and Oliver Hollands, with top-of-the-ladder NAB League team Gippsland Power having eight representatives in the squad.

The National Championships started on Sunday in South Australia when the Allies tackled the home state.

Vic Country will also travel to South Australia, this Sunday (June 26) and the game will be streamed on the AFL website. The match is at 1.30pm.

It is a three-state competition for the Vic Country team, which faces the Allies at Aspley in the ACT on Sunday, July 3. The Allies is made up of players from NSW, ACT, Tasmania, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Vic Country’s third match is a home match, at Geelong’s GMHBA stadium, on Sunday, July 17.

The final match in the Vic Country campaign will be conducted in the middle of the AFL finals when country will tackle city as Vic Country confronts Vic Metro in late September.

AFL Head of Talent Pathways Grant Williams said: “NAB AFL National Championships matches are the highest standard of representative state and territory football for aspiring talent across Australia and we look forward to seeing the best boys in the country compete against each other.

“Some of the boys in these age groups have missed out on a lot over the past two years and we are extremely excited about delivering a full program of NAB AFL National Championships matches in 2022.”