Local youngsters aim to impress

Miller Bergman in action for the Dandenong Stingrays. Picture: AFL MEDIA

By Nick Creely

Four emerging Dandenong Stingray youngsters have been named in the NAB League Combine with plenty of Victorians set to show their wares in front of AFL recruiters.

With the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual draft combines will be purely state-based in 2021, but regardless, the emerging AFL stars will have plenty of opportunity to impress with the draft now only a matter of months away.

The exciting Mac Andrew (Berwick), Miller Bergman (Berwick), Judson Clarke (Berwick) and Connor Macdonald (Doveton) have all been selected from the Stingrays in what is likely to be a fruitful draft period for the Shepley Oval-based NAB League outfit.

Star News Group interviewed Bergman – a beaming runner with plenty of scope for improvement – in May this year, where he spoke about his desire to make it to the AFL level, and how he’s used Covid as a way to improve not only his fitness, but his game.

“During games I just try and run as much as possible and be loud, then try and use it when I’ve got it,” he said.

“During the Covid lockdown (in 2020) I was running maybe three to four times a week.

“5km, 10km, then sometimes a short 1km run to just tick the legs over every now and then.

“Now that training is back, I run once or twice a week. I am preparing for the harder stages if I am able and lucky enough to get there.

“I have gone and watched North Melbourne train, I am a mad North Melbourne supporter, I have seen how hard they work at training, I have tried to get that into my own scenario.

“Keep fit and work hard, it is never going to get easier the higher you go.”

The 2021 NAB AFL Draft Combines – with the Victorian combine to be held on 9 and/or 10 October in Melbourne – will assess each player’s physical strengths through several tests including 20-metre sprint, agility tests and vertical jump.