Young AWFA players were able to use Saturday night's practice match against the Goulburn Valley Suns as a good stepping stone, according to squad coach Kade Rixon.
AWFA went down 4-1 to the NPL club in Shepparton, however, Rixon was pleased with how the youngsters approached the challenge.
Ben White, Nick Brown and Josh Perry were among some of the players to impress.
"The young ones really stood out," Rixon said.
"They didn't look out of their depth at all which is good to see.
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"I was really happy with how they went."
Rixon would like to see AWFA players get an opportunity to showcase their talents on the Border for more practice matches.
Players not only battled the Suns on the field, but also up above, as temperatures lingered around the mid-30s in Shepparton.
"There was nowhere for them to hide on the pitch," Rixon said.