Mildura footballer Finn Ellis Castle. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

By MITCH RODD

MILDURA footballer Finn Ellis Castle wants to follow in the footsteps of players to don the ‘Big V’ of Victoria.

The 16-year-old has made the Victoria Country squad for the AFL Under 16 National Championships in June and July.

The squad still has to be trimmed further, but the utility hoped he would be part of it for the championships.

“I was quite shocked I made it to be honest. It was something I hoped for but wasn’t expecting,” Finn said.

“You see all the good players who have pulled on the Big V who have gone on to play AFL, so it would be pretty special if I got that opportunity.”

Prior to round one of the Sunraysia Football and Netball League (SFNL) two weeks ago, the young defender received two pieces of good news on the one day.

His mother Suzi answered a phone call in the morning acknowledging Finn had made the initial cut for the Vic Country squad. To top it off, Mildura senior coach Heath Caldwell approached the youngster at training that night to inform him he would make his senior debut for the Demons that weekend.

“I was hoping to get a game (in the seniors) but I was thinking I may get an opportunity later in the year. I definitely wasn’t expecting it this early,” Finn said.

While Finn mostly plyed his trade as a key defender at junior level, he was played forward for the Demons seniors. He kicked a goal and was named amongst the best players in the 18-point win over the Bulldogs.

“There were some big bodies out there but I found it was really good,” Finn said.

“It was a bit different playing as a forward, but I had Anthony Matthews and Mitch Smith really helping me out. Being able to play multiple positions will be really beneficial.

“I really want to stay in the ones team. It’s the best footy in town so I want to be part of it.”

Victoria Country’s opening game of the 2018 Under 16 National Championships will be against Victoria Metro at Ikon Park on Saturday, June 23.