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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Lacy’s Learnings: Footy romance is still alive at under-18 level

Every year we bemoan the lack of State of Origin footy.
As a proud West Australian, there is nothing I’d love more than to watch Lance Franklin, Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy combine in the forward line with the likes of Michael Walters and Charlie Cameron at their feet.
It is nice to imagine Alex Rance and Jeremy McGovern combining down back with support from the likes of Brad Sheppard and Nathan Wilson.
Then there’s the prospect of Nic Naitanui and Aaron Sandilands sharing ruck duties and Nat Fyfe, Patrick Cripps and Tom Mitchell joining forces in the midfield.
But I’ve sort of given up hoping that the unlikely dream will come true.
I find the one time of year I can get really excited about watching West Australians compete is in the under-18 championships.
They have just wrapped up this year and there is no doubt it was the South Australian’s year, but again the boys from out West showed plenty.
The football played at the carnival was arguably as entertaining as any we have seen at the top level this season.
Anti-congestion rules certainly helped in that regard, but there is still plenty of romance in being able to get behind a team packed with young talent from your own State who still play with freedom and personality.
There is also plenty to be said for hope, as supporters wonder which of the players at the carnival will become their club’s future stars.
What does the future hold for SA guns Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine? Or WA pair Ian Hill and Sydney Stack?
Many who played in the championships will never get their chance, but plenty will and it’s nice to become invested in their story so early.
It’s also nice to be able to say West is best. Maybe not this year, but there’s always hope for the next crop.