After jumping at the opportunity to be in the first cohort of The Academy’s Wangaratta campus, Year 11 student, Brayden George, sat down with The Academy to talk about his experiences so far.
The Academy: Hi Brayden. How are you? How’s life in Wangaratta?
Brayden: G’day! I’m good, thank you. Living in Wangaratta has been a fun and enjoyable experience so far since moving here. I definitely can’t complain.
TA: You seem to be doing quite well in your footy since being able to pull on the boots again. Which club are you playing for at the moment?
B: I’m currently playing for the Wangaratta Rovers. They usually have me playing down forward and swapping into the midfield. I love being able to kick a few goals.
TA: You’ve also been selected to train in the Victorian Country Squad; can you tell us more about that?
B: This is a whole new experience for me and I’m very grateful and excited for the opportunity! I put in a lot of hard work over the COVID lockdown period to get myself ready for the upcoming football season. After a good performance in the Murray Bushrangers U17s carnival I received an email about the [Vic Country] squad and was invited to Melbourne for a two-day camp with a squad of 50 boys from across the country for some testing and a trial match. I actually just found out that I’ve been invited back for a second camp which involves playing another game at a state level. I’m really looking forward to the challenge and experiences.
TA: Congratulations, Brayden – well done! Do you feel that what you’ve learnt at The Academy so far has helped you achieve this?
B: I believe that the strategies and skills I have learnt while being at The Academy have had a big impact on me in a positive way. Coming to The Academy everyday knowing we’ll work on different skills and parts of the game has really helped me incorporate them into my playing style, and has helped me be more confident within myself.
TA: You are also one of the many students across our different campuses that relocated to attend The Academy in Wangaratta. Can you tell us a little about what that involves?
B: Yeah, so at the start of the year my parents and I decided that relocating [from 2 hours away] to attend The Academy would benefit me and my football, so the next stage was finding myself somewhere to live in Wangaratta. Luckily for us there was a unit that was available to be rented so we decided to go with that option. Only being 17, the first week living by myself in a new town was scary and came with some difficulties, such as cooking my own meals. It soon became a lot easier as I began to make new friends at the footy club and school and also became more confident with my surroundings and the area. Living by myself has taught me a lot of discipline, organization and time management. I have to do things for myself but I have been enjoying the challenge of it all.
TA: Thanks for chatting with us, Brayden, and best of luck with the Vic Country squad!