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Sons of guns earn Falcons shot

March 7, 2023 3:00 pm in by

BETWEEN them, their fathers played a combined 682 AFL games for seven premierships.

However, River Stevens, Alfie Wojcinski and Noah Caracella are looking to make a name for themselves after being named in the Geelong Falcons’ under-18 squad for the 2023 Victorian Talent League season.

The trio has been selected as bottom-age players and will become eligible to be drafted in 2024.

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Stevens is the son of North Melbourne great Anthony and is a left-footer like his dad.

“He’s really silky,” Falcons coach Paul Corrigan said of the half-forward.

“He’s really come into his own when we’ve started to do some match sim scenarios.

“He’s shown how classy he can be. He’s got a good turning circle and a real knack of getting away from his opponent and finding space.

Wojcinski is the son of triple-premiership-winning Cats speedster David and has been training as a winger/half-forward.

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“He sees the game really well; he uses the ball really well, too,” Corrigan said.

“We’ll look at developing him through those two areas.

“He’s got the ability to carry the ball – a bit like his dad – on the wing, and he’s quite crafty when he does go forward.

Caracella’s dad Blake was a premiership winner with Essendon and the Brisbane Lions before finishing his career at Collingwood.

However, the Bombers were the only club he managed 100 games for to allow for father-son selection.

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“He’s a rangy type … a bit like his dad,” Corrigan said. “He can play high and deep forward.

“He’s got good game awareness, and you don’t see that sometimes in bottom agers.

“His ability to get to space, (and) put himself in really good positions – both in offence and defence – across the ground has been really special through pre-season.

“He’s really good in the air as well.”

Stevens, Wojcinski and Caracella are among a 60-strong squad that received their jumpers for 2023 at a function at on Sunday night.

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Corrigan says they’ve named a bigger squad this year due to the high number of players from Geelong College and Geelong Grammar while factoring in those playing for St Joseph’s College during the week.

He says the coaching staff moved from the theory of naming just the best players in the squad and went for balance across the field.

“We try and remove ourselves from thinking the best 50 or 60 players within the region, and how do we break that down into different sections of the ground,” Corrigan said.

“And how do we complement our talls with our rucks? How do we complement outside players with inside players?

“And just making sure that we’ve got guys that have a lot of versatility, too.”

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The Falcons will carry four 19-year-0lds: returning trio Archie Sinnot, Cooper Hayes and Hamish Peirceson, while former steeplechaser Ethan Grills has also earned a spot.

The Falcons players will participate in the annual Talent League testing day this weekend before a practice match against the GWV Rebels at Windsor Park (North Shore) on March 18.

They open their season at Colac’s Central Reserve against Dandenong Stingrays on March 25.

The Falcons have also unveiled their under-16 squad, which includes the surnames Mooney, Riccardi and Robbins.

Jagger Mooney and Boston Riccardi are the sons of Geelong greats Cam and Peter, respectively.

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While James Robbins’ dad, Matt, played seven games for the Cats before becoming a dangerous small forward in 139 games with the Western Bulldogs.

Former Bell Park and Drysdale star Chris Lynch will lead the under-16s.

Twitter: @krockfootball

GEELONG FALCONS UNDER 18 LIST

1 Cooper Ward-Devlin St Joseph’s
2 Tobyn Murray Colac
3 Tom Burke Torquay
4 River Stevens Newtown & Chilwell
5 Tom Anastasopoulos Newtown & Chilwell
6 Lachie Jaques St Mary’s
7 Kane Reid Newtown & Chilwell
8 Gus Hanley Torquay
9 Joel Cooper Torquay
10 Paddy Hughes Torquay
11 Flynn Chrigwin St Mary’s
12 Noah Tullio Newtown & Chilwell
13 Xavier Ivisic Bell Park
14 Mal White St Joseph’s
15 Liam Kershaw St Joseph’s
16 Rhys McWaters Bell Park
17 Alfie Wojcinski Newtown & Chilwell
18 Tom Bartlett Modewarre
19 Angus Hastie Geelong West Giants
20 Fletcher Hughes St Mary’s
21 Jack Skinner Colac Imperials
23 Nick Dowling St Mary’s
24 Hamish Codd Newtown & Chilwell
25 Michael Rudd St Mary’s
26 Mack Butcher St Mary’s
27 Archie Sinnot* Newtown & Chilwell
28 Dan Lowther Lara
29 Joe Pike Barwon Heads
30 Edan Ibbetson Newtown & Chilwell
31 Noah Caracella St Joseph’s
32 Reef Page Torquay
33 Brady Hall Colac
34 Tom Peirce South Barwon
35 Hamish Pierson* Grovedale
36 Joel Grigsby Newtown & Chilwell
37 Caleb Foster St Joseph’s
38 Cooper Hayes* Colac
39 Kobe George Bell Park
40 Ethan Grills* Geelong Amateur
41 Josh Sanders Lara
42 Hunter Lewis St Joseph’s
43 Jack Henderson Barwon Heads
44 Ethan Borys Grovedale
45 Marley McCombe St Mary’s
46 Will McLachlan Colac
47 Lachie McLean Leopold
48 Sol Bowtell Queenscliff
49 Tom Kiddle Newtown & Chilwell
50 Cooper Patton Torquay
51 Ben Pennisi Newtown & Chilwell
52 Sam Sinnot Newtown & Chilwell
53 Finn Cornell Barwon Heads
54 Marley Cornell Ocean Grove
55 Zac McInnes Bell Park
56 Will Smith Leopold
58 James Ward Torquay
59 Will Montebello Torquay
60 Zekiah Davey Lara
61 Gus Morrison St Joseph’s
62 Matt Jones Bell Park
Oliver Maddalena Torquay
Jude Payne St Mary’s
Sonni Walter Ocean Grove
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*Denotes 19-year-old player

GEELONG FALCONS UNDER 16 SQUAD

Lenny Allen Ocean Grove
Ben Coote Ocean Grove
Josh Falconer Geelong West Giants
Angus Ford Barwon Heads
Lucas Gray Torquay
Tom Handley Geelong West Giants
Archer Hanegraaf Geelong Amateur
Oliver Johnston Newtown & Chilwell
Cooper Kitchen Newtown & Chilwell
Zach Lamb Bell Park
Will Lane Leopold
Charlie Lawless Anglesea
Josh Lindsay Newtown & Chilwell
Hamish McGowan Torquay
Charlie Meadows South Barwon
Jesse Mellor Geelong West Giants
Hugo Mikunda Bell Park
Jagger Mooney Newtown & Chilwell
Harry Morphet Leopold
Giuseppe Posterino Newtown & Chilwell
Boston Riccardi Newtown & Chilwell
Geordie Richardson Geelong Amateur
James Robbins Ocean Grove
Tyson Roberts St Albans
Ben Rongdit Colac
Gus Uytdehaag Colac
Hugo Walsh Ocean Grove
Lucius White Torquay
Taj Hinkley* South Barwon
Mitchell Lindsey* St Mary’s
Jordan Monahan* Queenscliff
Luke Norsworthy* Newtown & Chilwell
Max Pell* Bell Park
Charlie Richmond* Geelong Amateur
Eamon Roberts* St Mary’s
Jordie Stone* South Barwon
Ethan Taylor* St Joseph’s

*Denotes development player

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