LAVINGTON youngster Connor Byrne will make his debut for the Murray Bushrangers against Calder Cannons at Wangaratta’s Norm Minns Oval tomorrow.
Byrne, who played in the Panthers’ upset win against Albury last weekend, has been selected as the 23rd player for the match that could make or break the team’s TAC Cup season.
The Wagga Tigers junior led the NSW/ACT Rams under-16 team to glory in division two at the national championships on the Gold Coast last month.
He was named the team’s most valuable player at the carnival.
Bushrangers talent manager Lee Fraser said Byrne had shown great maturity and leadership.
“Connor is a hard-running midfielder who can win his own football and distributes well by hand and foot,” Fraser said.
“We are confident he will step up to TAC Cup level having played senior football.
“It’s always an exciting time of year when young players get an opportunity.
“It will be a great experience that will assist in his development.”
Byrne, 16, travels from Wagga to Lavington for training during the week.
The Bushrangers will enter tomorrow’s clash against Calder full of confidence after strong wins against the Western Jets and Tasmania in the last two rounds.
Coach Darren Ogier believes the squad is determined to step up.
“The Cannons were the one side early in the year that really got on top of us,” Ogier said.
“The energy on the training track has been first class and you can feel the excitement within the group.
“Finals are at stake and we are determined to take our chances.”