GIANTS Academy officials hold out hope that Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong teenager Matt Hamblin could be a late inclusion into the Allies squad.
Hamblin sent selectors a strong message on Sunday as he produced a best-on-ground performance for the Giants Academy against Tasmania.
Hamblin had 29 disposals and kicked a goal in the Giants' one-goal win in Sydney, just a few days after he was left out of the 39-man Allies squad for the under 19 national championships.
He was not alone, with a number of Riverina footballers producing big games as the Giants completed an undefeated campaign.
Luke Fellows had 28 touches in the win, while Allies squad members Jack Driscoll and Harry Grintell also impressed.
GWS Giants Academy's Riverina coach Tim Sullivan admitted they were disappointed with the Giants' representation in the Allies squad and hopes Hamblin could still work his way into it.
"Matty was best on ground," Sullivan said.
"They're hoping that they can get him into the Allies. It will just be a wait and see."
Sullivan said he had no doubt that Hamblin and others went out there with a point to prove.
"Big time. That's what we said to them, to really use it to drive that hunger and show people what they are missing out on by not selecting him. And that was to all the boys that missed out," he said.
"We're a really good side and have been playing some really good football. We were disappointed for them but don't just throw it away and waste all your good work by being upset, use that disappointment to really surge on and to their credit, they really did."
MORE SPORT NEWS
Aside from Driscoll, Grintell and Pat Voss, who made the Allies squad, most Giants Academy members will now return to their clubs to finish the season.
Some opportunities will be there to top up for the GWS Giants' reserves in the VFL.
"There will be some kids out of the 18s, 19s group that will get a tap on the shoulder and told that the Giants VFL side is looking to maybe play you. They will be asked to train on," he said.
"Those conversations, I don't know when they'll be had, but that's what it's looking like. Those other guys will go back to club and go from there.
"It's probably more the 19-year-olds that will play VFL. And what we've said to them, not getting selected in the Allies isn't the be all and end all, because we do have this great opportunity where potentially, the VFL options can come. So don't drop the lip and throw it away because they've done such really good work, all of them, particularly in our area."
Sullivan said the Giants Academy were not happy with their representation in the Allies squad.
"Not really. We were hoping to have more, to be honest," he said.
"We were disappointed but we understand that you've got to cater for everyone and there's seven other sides that have got to be in that squad."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: