Melville High School’s Sam Applegate has reaped the awards at the recent football state trials in Bathurst.
Applegate represented North Coast Football at the carnival and excelled as a striker as he found the back of the net on seven occasions.
At the conclusion of the carnival, Applegate was selected as a shadow player for the NSW Combined High Schools (CHS) Open Boys Football side and named as the NSW CHS Country Player of the Tournament.
Applegate was joined by fellow Melville student and Macleay Valley Rangers teammate Tyler Wyatt at the carnival.
The Rangers striker was impressed by his own performance but was still surprised to receive the post-carnival recognition.
"I was very shocked that I got it and didn’t even know they had that award,” Applegate told the Argus.
“I played striker and winger most impact was when I was up front scoring and setting other people up.”
As the shadow player for the NSW CHS Open Boys Football side, Applegate will be the first player called into the mix if there’s an injury to one of the attacking players.
NSW CHS Football provides opportunities for students in the secondary public school system in NSW to play for their schools in state wide knockout competitions
The CHS pathway ultimately leads to selection in NSW and Australian teams from secondary schools in both the public and private sectors.
Applegate will have another chance next year to advance in the school selection process as he was one of the youngest players at the carnival.
“I am a year younger than everyone else and one of the youngest in my team and in most other teams,” Applegate said.
The football prodigy is no stranger to representative honours.
Applegate travelled to Japan as a young teenager when he was involved in the emerging Newcastle Jets program and he also faced off with the A-league side during their trip to Port Macquarie last year.
The striker was picked as one of the best players in the Football Mid North Coast Premier League last year as he was selected into the Northern Representative side.
Applegate is one of the younger players in the competition but his impact on the field is felt every weekend for the Rangers.
The Newcastle Jets recently announced they will return to the region in July and Applegate will be in contention for selection into the Northern Representative side once again.
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