With football running through his veins, there is nothing stopping Barooga’s Cooper Trembath from joining the elite ranks like his grandfather did decades earlier.
Trembath, 16, has been pitting his skills against the best junior footballers in NSW and the ACT as part of the GWS Giants Academy.
He has so far played in two practice matches in Canberra and Sydney after making it through a three-phase selection process.
Trembath said he enjoyed testing himself against high-quality opponents.
‘‘It is a big step up from local footy and interleague footy,’’ he said.
‘‘It is a lot quicker, better skilled, but I have really enjoyed the experience.’’
The dashing defender has played 120 junior games for the Hawks after moving from Melbourne aged six.
Trembath’s junior CV is starting to fill up quite nicely. He captained the under-14 side for two years and won the best and fairest in that age bracket as a top-age player.
The promising junior said several figures at Barooga had contributed to his development as a player.
‘‘Shane Gorman has been really helpful for me as a junior. I learnt a lot from him,’’ Trembath said.
‘‘I look up to a few senior boys in Cal Leighton-Daly and Jake Russell. I really idolise them as players.’’
The up-and-comer was blessed with good footy bloodlines. His grandfather Ian Thorogood represented Melbourne in the VFL in the 1950s.
While he is firmly entrenched in the GWS Academy for now, Trembath said he hoped to step up to senior football in the near future.
‘‘Hopefully when I get back to club footy I can play consistently and try and play some games in the ones, but obviously they are going pretty well at the moment,’’ he said.
‘‘I will try and see if I can get a game as the sub and if I go all right in that hopefully I can crack into the starting 21.’’
The confident teenager describes himself as a wing/half-back flank-type player who likes to use his pace to begin the offence for his team, which is what we have been accustomed to seeing from the modern defender in AFL footy.
Trembath harbours ambitions to make it to the top level one day, but knows it will not be easy.
‘‘That is the aim. I just want to work as hard as possible over the next couple of years and hopefully try and get drafted,’’ he said.
If Trembath was to get drafted tomorrow he would be zoned to the Giants, but any rival club could match that pick.
He said he would have no problem moving to Sydney to play for the Giants, declaring it would be ‘‘awesome’’.
Trembath said he owes a lot of gratitude to his parents.
‘‘It is a massive effort to give up three weekends in a row to take me to Canberra and Sydney back-to-back and get me to those practice games without any hassle. They have been awesome, he said.