By JESS WEBSTER
Photo: GWS GIANTS FC.
Brendan Myers is proof that a week is certainly a long time in football.
The talented GWS GIANTS Academy member earned Allies selection this year and played the first three matches of the National Under-18s Division 1 Championships, before he was then dropped.
Not to be deterred, the Wagga Tigers product then set his sights on returning to form with the GIANTS in the NEAFL.
He collected 16 disposals in his return game in Round 13 against Brisbane, but it was his second match last Saturday which set the stage alight.
Myers was the leading possession winner on the ground with 32 disposals, plus nine marks, seven clearances, and six inside 50s in the GIANTS’ four-point loss to NT Thunder at Spotless Stadium, picking up one NEAFL MVP vote in the process.
Three days later, the 18-year-old learned he was awarded the Round 14 NEAFL Rising Star nomination, only a matter of hours after he had earned a recall to the Allies side for their final match against Vic Metro in Geelong on Wednesday.
Myers gave a frank response of his form leading up to his breakout NEAFL match on Saturday, and said it gave him a lot of confidence to recapture his best football.
“I was disappointing to miss an Allies game, but if you don’t perform great then you get dropped – that’s how it works,” he said.
“It was a bit unfortunate, but I wanted to move on and have a crack in the NEAFL.
“It’s been a good learning experience the past week. It just goes to show that you can turn things around pretty quickly.”
Myers is a traditional, no-nonsense footballer who has established himself as one of the most promising footballers coming through the Riverina region in recent years.
He first joined the Wagga Tigers when he was only four years old, when his parents took him to Auskick and he never looked back.
After playing his first senior match in the Riverina Football League at age 16, Myers made everyone stand up and notice last season when he claimed the Tigers’ senior best-and-fairest award at 17 – after playing just eight games.
It was a season where Myers also played five NEAFL games, as well as GIANTS Academy commitments and NSW/ACT Rams duties.
It is a familiar path taken by GIANTS’ draftees Harry Perryman and Mark Kennedy, which acts as a huge motivation for Myers.
“It’s been a litte bit of a challenge with all of the travel from Wagga, but I got into the motions pretty early on and pretty much that’s how my life was,” he said.
“I try not to make a big deal of it, I just try to go through the paces and perform the best I can.
“They (Kennedy and Perryman) are a huge inspiration. I’ve grown up with them, and they keep in touch with me pretty regularly so it’s great to have them give me advice.
“It was so good having Harry there (against NT Thunder) playing with me. We’ve played a bit of football together so it was great to play with him again.”
The Allies took on Victoria Metro today and caused one of the biggest boilovers of the championships, causing Victoria’s only defeat in a thriller by three points.
Myers hopes 2017 will be another stepping stone towards a potential AFL Draft selection, and is willing to give it all he’s got.
“I just want to go as hard as I can for as long as I can for the rest of the year, and see what happens,” he said.
Myers is the first GIANTS player to be nominated for the award this year.
The Rising Star is awarded to the most promising young talent in the NEAFL competition.
Nominees must be under the age of 21 and played less than 20 senior games (excluding games as AFL Academy players) at the start of the 2017 season.
Keep track of all of our 2017 nominees here.
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