Joel Garner to lead Vic Metro
EASTERN Ranges midfielder Joel Garner is hoping to stamp himself as one of the elite ball users of this year’s draft crop when Vic Metro’s AFL Under-18 National Championships campaign starts later this week.
Garner, a silky-skilled left-footer, was awarded another leadership accolade on Saturday when he was announced as the Vic Metro captain for this year’s carnival.
In his growing list of achievements, the highly-touted 18-year-old was named as the first indigenous prefect in the 166-year history of the prestigious Scotch College early this year.
The Wandin Football/Netball Club product was voted in as Vic Metro captain by his peers, with Sandringham Dragons skipper Hayden McLean, Northern Knights captain Nick Coffield and Western Jets forward Cameron Raynor named vice captains.
Garner said his attitude and commitment at Vic Metro training had helped him be appointed captain.
“I think my voice at training was just a bit bigger than other blokes and again how I go about it and how serious I am at training,” Garner said.
“This one is the pinnacle almost, being Eastern Ranges captain is unreal but to be Vic Metro captain, I am just really lucky.
“I am really privileged.”
Garner played the first two games for Eastern Ranges in the TAC Cup before his private school football commitments with Scotch College.
Garner said he was starting to find some form after a slow start to the APS season.
“The past few weeks have been OK, it was pretty poor at the start,” he said.
“I played a good game against Haileybury so it is getting there and hopefully it can kick in right before nationals.”
Garner played two games for Vic Metro last year as a bottom-age player, collecting six disposals in both games at an efficiency of 83 per cent.
“Coming off the win last year, hopefully we can back that up and be a hard Vic Metro team to play,” he said.
“I think we’ll be really good, we are really tall and very athletic so hopefully we can just cut teams apart and really show what Vic Metro is all about.
“I’ll try get my hands on it and show them (recruiters) what I have got.”
It’s the second consecutive year an Eastern Ranges player has been named Vic Metro skipper after Jordan Gallucci was joint captain last year.
Vic Metro’s first game is on Sunday against Western Australia at Subiaco.