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YvW Feature | Norwood’s bright future shines

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By Josh Ward.

Last weekend saw the young Norwood group rewarded for its early season efforts with a two-point victory over Noble Park.


After leading by three goals at half time Norwood conceded that advantage late in the final term to the Bulls before James Menzies was able to give them back the lead and seal their first win of 2024.


New senior coach Brett Moyle said on The Weekend Recovery that after a rollercoaster start to the year, the end result was both a huge win for the club and a reward for the players’ efforts throughout the early stages of 2024.


“Noble Park have been and continue to be a powerhouse in our competition so to get a win against them was awesome for our young group,” Moyle said.


The victory saw 11 teenagers take to the park for Norwood, with players such as Menzies, Josiah Landy, Connor Smith and Box Hill Hawks-listed Josh Tovey all playing key roles in the result.


“They’re all growing at different rates, but there’s a few in particular who are in a very short period of time becoming pretty good senior players and are closing that gap as they continue to get exposed to high level footy.”


Ex-Eastern Ranges midfielders Smith and Tovey have both impressed Moyle to start the season along with 17-year-old Landy, with the latter having roles against top tier midfielders such as Lachlan McDonald, Josh Deluca and Jackson Sketcher.


Moyle says seeing these young players improve with every game they play and with every training session has been something that he’s enjoyed since joining the club


“For me it’s been a bit of an adjustment to go to the footy knowing you’re not going to win every week, but having the wins and seeing the development of the young guys has been excellent.”


While the side is predominantly young it still boasts some experience, with familiar faces such as 2014 premiership player Dean Poynton and Blair Hudson among its leaders helping to develop the youth of Norwood.


“The leaders that we have and some that are new to the club are excellent leaders and guys, which has been great for the young group to have that (experience).”


It’s experience was boosted by the inclusion of ex-St Kilda defender Tom Highmore who played a key role in his first game with Norwood after starting the season in the VFL with Port Melbourne.


“He was obviously playing AFL last year, his poise and skill level and contested marking off half back was above our competition level. That really stood out (on Saturday) and created scoring opportunities for us.”


This weekend sees the Norsemen make the short trip to East Ringwood Reserve to face an inform Roos outfit before hosting Vermont at Mullum Mullum ahead of the King’s Birthday bye.

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