Wagga footballer Sam Stening has been rewarded for a stellar under 16 national championships with selection in the All Australian team.
Stening was named at centre-half-forward in the under 16 All Australian team after impressing selectors at the championships, which concluded in Queensland last weekend.
The 16-year-old was the only player from division two-winning NSW-ACT team selected in the 23-man team.
His selection caught Stening by surprise.
"I couldn't believe it, really. I didn't even think of it but it's amazing," Stening said.
"I thought I played consistent. I usually play one good game then one bad one so it was good to put a few good games together."
Stening was described by selectors as a lightly built key forward with top athleticism.
He averaged 15.3 disposals a game for the championships, eight of which were contested possessions. He also averaged five marks, 3.7 shots on goal and two assists.
Stening said the championships and his selection have inspired him to one day play at the highest level.
"It has, I've got much more motivation now," he said.
"I know what it takes to play AFL now, I'll have to train hard and hopefully get there one day."
His selections earns him a place in the AFL Academy next year.
Stening plays at Osborne and attends school at The Riverina Anglican College.