Essendon’s under-15 Next Generation Academy side has closed out the year in style with a convincing 77-point victory over its Carlton counterpart at Ikon Park on Sunday.
The Bombers proved far too strong throughout the contest, with a massive first half setting up the impressive win.
The Dons – comprising of players with multicultural backgrounds from the north-western corridor of Melbourne – kept the Blues scoreless and booted five goals in the first term before repeating the dose in the second quarter to take an unassailable 71-point lead into the main change.
Carlton got on the board with two goals in the third term and three in the last, but Essendon comfortably held off the home side with three goals in each of the final two quarters to claim the strong victory.
Isaac Kako was named Essendon’s best and Amin Naim impressed with a five-goal haul, while Shane Clough, Ryan Eyre, Jordan Neicho and Khalil Kaahour rounded out the best players.
NGA head coach Harmit Singh said Kako, Clough and Eyre had been among the real standouts of the program and said it was satisfying to see the diverse and talented side perform so well.
“Given the limited contact hours we had with the group, it was really pleasing to see the 21 boys play some really good footy, especially around our ball movement and connection after we addressed it at quarter-time,” Singh said.
“We had players from 11 different cultural backgrounds play on the day which is really exciting to see the game getting good traction throughout the north-west metro Melbourne corridor.
“We have a really exciting group in the under-15s; 10 of these boys are in the Daniher Squad which is basically a squad of 45 made up of the most talented footballers in the north-west.”
Singh thanked Carlton and its NGA manager Zac Dawson for hosting the clash and said he is looking forward to another exciting year at Essendon with the continuation and fresh establishment of various academies lying ahead in 2020.
“2020 shapes as a really exciting year with a number of players draft eligible that will work closely with Heath Hocking in the James Hird Academy.
“After the success of the Saad Academy we will look to diversify our programs even more with an Indigenous and African Academy being established in the north-west which will hopefully see us engage with new talent.
“From a remote perspective, we look forward to working closely with newly appointed AFL NT talent manager Brenton Toy in providing more opportunities for players from the Tiwi Islands and West Arnhem.”
CARLTON 0.0 0.0 2.0 5.0 (30)
ESSENDON 5.6 10.11 13.11 16.11 (107)
Essendon – Amin Naim 5, Jordan Neicho 3, Lachlan Fazzolari 2, Mahmoud Taha 2, Isaac Kako, Shane Clough
Essendon – Isaac Kako (Northern Saints FC), Amin Naim (Strathmore FC), Shane Clough (Gisborne Rookies FC), Ryan Eyre (Kilmore FNC), Jordan Neicho (Maribyrnong Park FC), Khalil Kaahour (Westmeadows FC)