SCHOOL'S OUT: Dylan Clarke (left) will debut for Wodonga Raiders against North Albury, just a week after his older brother Hayden played his first game.

Wodonga Raiders' Dylan Clarke will debut against North Albury on Saturday as a 15-year-old

Boom Wodonga Raiders’ teenager Dylan Clarke will join illustrious company on Saturday, debuting as a 15-year-old.

It’s a meteoric rise for the Year 10 student at Catholic College, Wodonga, after starting the year with the Murray Bushrangers’ under 16s.

“He’s an animal,” Raiders’ coach Daryn Cresswell said of Clarke’s competitive instinct.

“He really goes looking for the contest, so he loves it.”

Sydney coach John Longmire (Corowa-Rutherglen), former Richmond and Brisbane Lions’ forward Rory Hilton (Raiders) and North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell (Wodonga) all played in the O and M at 15.

He’s an animal. He really goes looking for the contest, so he loves it.
- Daryn Cresswell

Myrtleford’s Gerard Knobel is the youngest player at 14 years and 10 months in the 1980s.

Clarke’s debut comes just a round after his 17-year-old brother Hayden played his first senior game against Wodonga.

“They offer a lot in terms of when we don’t have the footy, they work really hard to get it back for us,” Cresswell said.

Hayden started his career with a win over the club’s arch-rival and Raiders will start favourite to hand his younger sibling the same result in the away clash against North Albury.

“Obviously Dylan’s got to do a bit more work on his outside game and win some easy ball because he wins a lot of ball in traffic,” Cresswell said.

“But that’s a work in progress, he’s only 15 years of age, he’s only going to get better, so this will be a great experience for him.

“Dylan’s got that X-factor to go in the middle and hunt for the footy.”

The Clarke boys’ father Stephen is a league Hall of Famer.

“Having ‘Clarkey’ play in a premiership at the club, now watching his sons come through, it’s really good news,” Cresswell said.

 

Article courtesy of the Border Mail

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