Cannons trio in metro squad

Calder Cannons girls coach Ross Smith with Chloe Baker-West, Kyla Forbes and Jade McLay. (Supplied)

Tara Murray

Three Calder Cannons young guns will rep the Vic Metro colours at the under-18 girls national championships.

Kyla Forbes will be part of the under-18 squad for a second straight year, while bottom age players Chloe Baker-West and Jade McLay have also been selected.

Forbes said she was looking forward to being part of the squad for a second straight year.

She played in the first game of the championships.

“It helps heaps,” she said. having been part of it before. “It was a really cool opportunity to be able to play with players who have been able to get drafted last year and learn off them and the coaches there too.

“There’s definitely been a lot more hard work. It’s never guaranteed that you will get in, you always have to put in the work to get there.”

Forbes said she wasn’t focused too far ahead on what might be at the end of the season.

She just wants to focus on playing her game and finish off the season strongly.

“I’m looking to hopefully playing a couple of games if I can. I obviously want to keep learning off the players around me and taking as much as I can off the coaches and everyone else there.”

Forbes said it was exciting to have the chance to play with McLay and Baker-West at Vic Metro.

McLay said it was pretty unreal as a bottom ager to be selected.

“It’s a really good opportunity, even training,” she said. “It’s a bit different to how we would train at Coates League, it’s another step up.

“We had the summer camp beforehand earlier in the year and we got told that we would be at the trial.

“I wasn’t shocked about the trial, but I wasn’t really expecting to be in the team, cause I missed four weeks because of an injury and that was my first game back a bit unsettled at the start and started to come into it.”

McLay said she had nothing to lose this year, as it would be a learning curve to make her better for next year, her draft year.

She said the experience of under-16s nationals had given her a bit of guidance on what to expect in the higher age group.

“I just want to train my hardest so I can get picked for a game, even just learning off some of the girls that are getting drafted this year is a really good experience,” she said.

“Having this year and understanding what it’s like to be a bottom ager, hopefully next year I’ll get into the team and help those that are bottom age next year, guide them along the way and help them out.”

Baker-West is set to miss the fist game of the carnival, but like McLay is hoping to use this year as a stepping stone.

She said she was shocked to be selected this year.

“I think it’s good, it’s a boost in confidence as well going into the next year as well,” she said.

“It’s a good experience to get involved and get more relationships and friendships as well.

“I didn’t play any trial games as I was injured. It did boost my confidence.”

Baker-West was also part of the under-16 Vic Metro side last year, where she won the side’s most valuable player award.

She said she isn’t thinking about the past, but about what she can do now.

“It’s a new year and I’m going to play my own game,” she said. “I’m not having to worry about all the other stuff and put it to the side like it’s a new year.

Baker-West, who is captain at PEGS, hasn’t played much Cannons football this season, said she was hoping to play a few games towards the back end of the year.