17 year-old Western Magpies debutant Will Fletcher is the round 9 QAFL Rising Star nominee.
The talented defender won plenty of the footy in his first game which the Pies won comfortably by 62 points.
“I found I was on the outside a lot so I’d get the ball and deliver it forward which the team were happy with,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher has played for the Queensland U18 side this year as well as the Brisbane Lions Reserves as a top-up player in the NEAFL.
“Playing Under 18 has helped my development a lot and added to my confidence.
“Playing in the NEAFL is a pretty high standard of football so going from that to Sherwood was an easier transition for me than going from Colts to the Seniors.
Amazingly, Fletcher only started playing footy at U14 level for Sherwood, and hasn’t looked back since.
“Last year I decided I wanted to have a pretty good crack at AFL and see how far I can go.
“Like a lot of other boys who do play AFL, playing for a professional club would be my ultimate dream but wherever I go I’ll be happy with”.
Fletcher is playing under new Magpies coach Nathan Clarke and was thrilled to be given an opportunity.
“He’s an excellent coach, he tells you what you need to do and doesn’t overcomplicate it so he made the first Senior game a lot easier for me which is good,” Fletcher said.
Clarke himself was impressed by the young defender’s maturity on the footy field.
“I think he’s a smart footballer, he reads the play well and knows when to come off his man,” Clarke said.
“He’s had a good taste of NEAFL footy over the last year so there’s no reason why he can’t go on and play comfortably at a higher level”.
The Magpies celebrate their 60th anniversary on Saturday and Fletcher is hoping he’ll get the nod to play against Mt Gravatt.
“It means a lot to me to put on the jumper and represent them as a player and the club as a whole which is what it’s all about at club level”.
By Josh Cheadle