Bock talks up teens - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bock talks up teens

Darren Cartwright 16/02/2011 04:11:21 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast vice-captain Nathan Bock rates teenagers Brandon Matera and Trent McKenzie high among the exciting talent bubbling away at the fledgling AFL club.

Bock has been impressed with the pair in intra-club matches and at training ahead of Saturday night's opening-round NAB Cup fixtures against GWS Giants and Sydney at Blacktown.

McKenzie was recruited from the Western Jets as a creative wingman, while Matera, who carries the burden of one of the most famous football surnames in WA, is an effervescent small forward from South Fremantle.

Matera's father Wally played for Fitzroy and West Coast, while uncles Peter and Phil were both stars for the Eagles.

"Brandon Matera has had a really good pre-season and has really impressed me the last few weeks in our internal trials," Bock told AAP on Wednesday.

"Once the ball hits the ground, he's quick on it, reads it well and is finding a lot of the footy and getting a lot of scoring shots.

"Trent McKenzie has really showed some promising signs and you might see him off the wing and using his left foot.

"He's got a beautiful raking left foot and uses the ball well so when the ball is in his hands something is going to happen."

McKenzie and Matera both turn 19 in the next couple of months.

Bock was one of the Suns' major signings, although he will miss the opening-round NAB Cup fixture with a hand injury.

Captain Gary Ablett has already been ruled out and utility Jared Brennan is lacking match fitness after recovering from an ankle injury.

Bock said being amongst so many raw, yet talented, teenagers has had its moments but there's an air of excitement and anticipation with the season proper in sight.

"It's a completely different environment to what I was used to in Adelaide and with the amount of young kids it's been different and at times testing," he explained.

"It's been great. We have a good group of experienced guys but not as many as coming from Adelaide.

"It gives me a great opportunity to lead and provide a bit of coaching to the younger kids and hopefully they develop."

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