In just his third year of senior football for the Bulldogs, 18-year-old Ben Maher is captaining the Gunnedah AFL side in 2018.
Last year’s AFL North West rising star is one game into the job he said was “a privilege” to be asked to do.
Maher said while there was “a little bit” of pressure involved with the captaincy, he had plenty of players to lean on for help if needed.
“We’ve got a pretty good bunch of blokes so anyone could have done it but I’m happy that I got the call up,” Maher said.
“I’ve got a pretty good support group around me so you never do it alone.”
The Bulldogs had a forgettable start to the 2018 season with a big loss to New England but Maher said Gunnedah still took positives out of the game.
The captain echoed coach Andrew George’s comments in saying the young charges stood tall.
“All the young blokes held their own,” Maher said.
“They weren’t scared of the big hits and held their head over the ball which is good to see.”
The Bulldogs hit the road to take on Narrabri this weekend.
A win would be extra special for Maher’s younger brother, Tom.
“He’s 17 on Saturday,” Ben said of the younger Maher.
Last Saturday was the first time the brothers played senior AFL together and Ben believed they could create a partnership going forward.
“It’s good. I love it,” Ben said of running out for the Bulldogs with Tom.
”Especially, when he starts learning the game a bit more – he’s pretty new, he has a league and rugby background – hopefully we can work together a bit.”
While Gunnedah didn’t take on Narrabri last year – the Eagles pulled out of the competition after three rounds – Maher played the year previously and expected them to come out firing.
“They’ve got some quality players. We know what to expect. They’ll put their head over the ball and play pretty hard,” he said.
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