CLARENCE Junior Football Club star Elijah Ryan, pictured, has faced off against the nation’s young competitors at the School Sport Australia (SSA) 12 Years and Under Football Championships.
The Howrah Primary School student wore the Tasmanian guernsey over seven days of fierce competition beginning 4 August at Mandurah in Western Australia.
The team played against teams from Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and the Australia Capital Territory (ACT) over a round robin and then in three finals matches.
Although nervous, Elijah said he had been both proud and excited to represent his state at the championships.
With the ambition to enter the AFL, he said this competition was a good chance to work on his teamwork and develop his tackling, handpassing and kicking skills.
Despite not finishing the round robin in the top four, the Tasmanian team punched well above its weight by defeating the Northern Territory and ACT and keeping scores close against the other teams.
They played off for fifth place against the bottom four teams, defeating ACT 121 to six and Northern Territory 87 to 15.