Diminutive Wangaratta forward Ben Bray considers himself fortunate to be in a star-studded team.
However, the lively 20-year-old is certainly earning his keep, kicking two goals against Wodonga Raiders on Good Friday,
"It's pretty cool actually to be able to say you play in a forward line like that," he admitted.
It's pretty cool actually to be able to say you play in a forward line like that. I consider myself lucky to be in that team.- Ben Bray
"I consider myself lucky to be in that team."
Wangaratta's forward line is potentially the highest profile unit in the league's 128 years.
Permanent members Michael Newton and Ben Reid played AFL, with the latter claiming Collingwood's last flag in 2010.
Swingman Callum Moore also played at the elite level and while he didn't play forward full-time against Raiders, he made an impact when he did.
A streamlined Josh Porter rounds out the tall timber after a solid career at VFL level, with that quartet all 190cm plus.
Even medium-sized forward Ben Speight played AFL, leaving Bray as the small crumbing player.
"We've got 'Juice' (Newton), 'Reidy' and Josh and if they don't mark it, I'm the one to clean it up," he offered.
At just 169cms, Bray is one of the league's smallest players.
However, he has a clever goal sense and has developed rapidly after debuting an an 18-year-old in a loss against Myrtleford in 2019.
"In the last couple of years, 'Juice' has always been good when you play up forward, telling you where to go on the ground and everyone's been really helpful," he revealed.
While Wangaratta's name players will, deservedly, attract enormous publicity, the performances of a handful of the club's youngsters, including Bray, Harry Smart and Fraser Ellis, against Raiders demands attention from opposition clubs.
The Pies have an advantage over many others clubs in that their young, non-profile players are all capable of racking up double-figure disposal matches.
Wangaratta will host its first blockbuster at home against Myrtleford on Saturday night.
It's the early tip for a grand final preview, with the visitors boasting enough talent in Matt Dussin, Dawson Simpson, Taylor Hunt and Co to push the Pies.
It will also be a day of celebration for the home club with the A grade netball team to unfurl its 2019 premiership flag from 5.30pm, prior to its match 30 minutes later.
But before that game, long-time and highly respected Pies' official Ken Farrell will receive his life membership on the ground around 5.50pm.
IN OTHER NEWS
The match will start from 6pm.
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