ARARAT - Junior football continues to prosper in the region with a total of six players from the Ararat Rats and Ararat Eagles Football Clubs selected to represent the Wimmera league in the under-15 school-boys carnival next month.
Rats players Tom Williamson, Tom Louder, Riley Taylor, Pat Bell and Ararat Eagles' Jack Taurau and Naish McRoberts are a part of the final playing squad of 24 from the Wimmera region.
The Wimmera team will compete in the V/Line Cup in April, which is the elite under-15 championship for junior AFL Victoria Country players.
It provides opportunities for rising country football stars to showcase their skills to a wider audience and play against their peers from across Victoria.
Each year the competition, played in a round-robin format across four divisions, brings together more than 500 players from across Victoria including Gippsland, the Wimmera and Sunraysia for four days.
The competition is a recognised pathway for players on their journey to the AFL.
The Ararat region has always had a strong representation of players compete in the series, however six players in 2013 is one of the highest seen in years.
The Rats' and Eagles' players began competing for a spot in the final squad in November at an initial training session in Horsham with about 65 other junior footballers.
Around 55 players were then selected to play in two practice matches in Laharum before numbers were again cut back.
The final squad of 24 was announced last week.
The squad trained in Horsham last night in preparation for the Wimmera's practice match at Alexandra Oval on Tuesday against South West Region, beginning at 4.30pm.
The team will play a second practice match at Alexandra Oval on March 20 against Ballarat team one.
The Wimmera begins its V/Line Cup campaign in Geelong on April 7.