PREMIUM
News

Gus’ sporting snaps: Cooper’s taking Giant footy steps

Corop kid: Cooper Hamilton at home in Colbinabbin. He was part of a GWS team which beat the Adelaide Crows. Photo: Steve Huntley Photo by steve Huntley.

The kid from Corop, Cooper Hamilton, has done most things in a hurry in his young life.

When taken by Greater Western Sydney as their only live selection in last year’s NAB AFL Rookie Draft, Cooper didn’t waste any time turning heads.

In his first week at training with the Sydney-based side he broke the club’s 2km time-trial record.

Two weeks ago after good form in the VFL he got the call-up to make his AFL debut with the club against Adelaide.

With 12 touches, five tackles and four marks he was part of the team which stunned the Crows on their home turf to the tune of 12 goals.

A lockdown player at this stage of his career, Cooper has elite endurance and is a strong contested mark who uses the ball effectively by hand and foot.

A former Rochester and Caulfield Grammar student he is a product of Colbinabbin Football Club and the Bendigo Pioneers.

He represented both the Australian under-18s team and Victoria Country last year after being an All-Australian at under-16s level in 2019.

As a teenager Cooper played in Colbinabbin’s runner-up side to North Bendigo in the Heathcote District Football League in 2019.

He has always been noticed by AFL scouts for his kit of footy skills and endurance capabilities.

His proud parents, Corop farmers Tate and Annette Hamilton, attended his AFL debut game in Adelaide as guests of Greater Western Sydney. But they couldn’t make it to Canberra to see the game against Geelong last Saturday because they both contracted COVID-19 on the trip to Adelaide.

Cooper did some good work again and his 10 possessions consisted of seven kicks in a well-beaten side

Score check please

Kyabram and GVL coach Paul Newman has joined the growing chorus for better communication in the league in regards to accessing scores.

A switch of websites, the change from ONE FM radio coverage to one live-streamed match on a Saturday this Saturday has led to frustration among fans across the Goulburn Murray region.

Newman said something needed to be done quickly to allow fans to access game day scores from GVL games on the internet.

‘‘In cricket the MyCricket keeps you up to date with consistent scores and I can’t see why the league can’t do something like that.

‘‘It is up to the clubs to provide the updates. If they don’t the league should make them do it or fine them like they do in cricket if they don’t.’’

GVL fans were left with a ‘‘pending’’ sign last Saturday night and into Sunday afternoon before results of the much anticipated Seymour-Echuca clash were finally posted.

I acknowledge there have been teething problems adjusting to the new website but after six weeks fans deserve a bit better.

Familiar faces could reunite

There could be some big names returning to the Kyabram side for this Saturday’s GVL clash with Seymour at Kyabram.

Even 2019 premiership player and Morrison Medallist Mick Mattingly could don the Kyabram colours again.

Mattingly is currently tied to South Australian club West Adelaide but has listed Kyabram as his home club.

He returned after a long stint on the sidelines to play with West Adelaide reserves last weekend and is available this week as his Adelaide club has the bye.

Key forward Brad Mangan is also set to return for his first game since an ACL injury forced him to miss most of last season.

‘‘At this stage we are not sure if he’s ready to go straight in the seniors or play in the reserves so we will work that out with him this week,’’ Kyabram coach Paul Newman said on Sunday.

The Bombers also expect to welcome back veteran Kayne Pettifer who has missed the last two games with a hamstring twinge while another premiership player Hayden Gemmill is also close to making a return.

But assistant coach Billy Barnes (back) and Kyle Mueller (foot) are still recovering.

After a frustrating wait X-rays have revealed Mueller has more broken bones in his foot than first thought and it will be some time before he gets back on to the park.

Spinning a web of success

Moama cricketer Todd Murphy’s cricket star continues to rise with the off-spinner selected in the Australia A squad to tour Sri Lanka from June 8-24.

He is one of only three recognised spinners in the A squad although there are others who can bowl spin.

The Sri Lankan tour marks the first Australia A squad to travel overseas since the onset of COVID-19. The A side will play two one-day matches and two four-day matches.

Murphy’s selection follows a match-winning performance in the Sheffield Shield competition against Tasmania in March when the 21-year-old claimed match figures of 7-146 and also contributed to a 47-run ninth-wicket stand with Mitch Perry to steer the Vics to a memorable win.

Over the Moon about selection

Longwood Football Netball Club is confident the appearance of Geelong premiership player Cam Mooney will be a big winner for the club when he plays a one-off game with the league’s battler later this season.

Longwood snapped up Mooney in the Carlton Draft with the number three pick, although he hasn’t played for 10 years.

The draft involves eight former AFL players playing a one-off game with a country club to help revitalise interest in the game at the grassroots level after emerging from two COVID-19-impacted seasons.

Carlton and Adelaide great Eddie Betts recently lined up for Rumbalara.

Longwood president Ricky Shiner believes Mooney’s appearance can be a big winner for the club, more so off the field than on it.

Mooney has even admitted he’ll be a bit rusty as a player and probably wouldn’t be venturing far from the goal square.

Which goal square is a tantalising thought; if it’s the Longwood goal square he may not get overworked based on the club’s efforts so far this season.

But that is not what this match is all about and despite their lack of success over the years you have to greatly admire Longwood for consistently fronting up with teams every week.

In fact it is only one of four clubs in the Kyabram League fielding all teams in both football and netball competitions.