Drew Beavan isn’t letting the cancellation of the North East Australian Football League get him down as he prepares for his first full season of senior football with the Marrar Bombers in the Farrer league.
The youngster, who is tied up with the GWS Giants, should be playing in the NEAFL competition, along with associated representative honours in the NAB league, but with Covid-19 wreaking havoc, Beavan is now focusing on club footy.
“They thought about going ahead with the NEAFL, but they didn’t want to risk playing the reserve graders against the general public teams like Sydney University and Redland Bombers and possibly spreading Coronavirus,” Beavan said.
“There is no news from the NAB league, which is still up in the air, so I have to work on my training and playing club footy.”
This is meant to be a career-defining year for Beavan, with the AFL draft held annually at the end of the Victorian school year and the youngster no doubt in the sights of AFL scouts
Despite everything being up in the air, Beavan doesn’t want it to be at the forefront of his thoughts, and instead wants to play the best he can for the Bombers.
“I haven’t really given it too much thought, I’ve just put all my focus on Marrar; we have a date when we are starting and that is all I am worried about,” Beavan said.
“It will be a matter of playing the best I can, wherever I can; it doesn’t matter what stage you’re on, you don’t know who is watching.”
The 18-year-old led the bombers to an under 17.5s premiership last season and was named best on ground in a terrific grand final performance.
Now playing seniors, Beavan is thriving under the pressure of being a core player in what is a studded-side Bombers line up.
“I have been training with the seniors for a few years, but now knowing I am playing with them and have a key role has helped me settle in,” Beavan said.
Even if Beavan is drafted and heads off to the AFL next year, he wants to put in an almighty effort with the Bombers this year and hopefully lead them to a flag.
“Absolutely we are a big chance of going all the way; we have two boys back from the Canberra Demons, we have a few extra boys from the Hume league and we are looking pretty good,” Beavan said.
“This is a good chance for us to win it.”
The Bombers had been training at Ashmont in recent weeks but on Tuesday night they returned to Marrar and Beavan was pleased to see some normality returning before the season kicked off next month.
“We have been training at Ashmont but we actually trained at Marrar on Tuesday,” Beavan said.
“Training at home has been hard and it was playing on my mind a little bit and it probably made me a little complacent but now we are back as a team, it’s all systems go.”
The Tumut product said his side would have to work hard ahead of what could be one of the strongest Farrer league seasons on record and touched on a few teams he expected to be strong.
“If I had to pick the team to beat, it would probably be Temora, I have heard they are recruiting well and they are always tough to beat,” Beavan said.
“East Wagga will be hard as well; they are the two top teams but North Wagga did win the flag last year and I’m not going to write them off either.”