The success of the South West Academy of Sport’s football program is being amplified through the achievements of current players like Chayse Martinson, whose name has been mentioned among the top talents in his age group.
The 16-year-old midfielder was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the WA side that delivered a ripper end to their 2022 AFL U16 Championships campaign after a sluggish start, finishing on a high with a win against the previously unbeaten Vic Metro in Adelaide.
The accolade came as a pleasant surprise to the Bunbury Senior High School student, whose focus was on the ground and WA’s position in the round-robin series, which was won by South Australia.
“To be honest, I hadn’t really thought that much of it. I was just in that situation: we needed South Australia to lose to Victoria – and that’s all I was thinking of,” Martinson said.
The Dalyellup teenager counts playing in the carnival and winning two of the three matches played as a highlight of his promising football career so far.
“First game was a bit rough and then we bonded really well as a team,” Martinson said.
SWAS football head coach Jamie Douse said Martinson’s performances throughout the carnival were outstanding.
“Chayse was pivotal in WA getting their campaign back on track after the team started poorly in the Championships opener against SA,” Douse said.
“Chayse’s relentless competitiveness and willingness to persevere through adversity sets him apart from the majority of his peers.
“His work inside the contest, versatility, and team first focus were key factors in his being awarded MVP.
“A terrific personal achievement for Chayse but he has stepped up to the next challenge and been amongst Swan Districts best in two WAFL colts games he has played since returning from last Championships game.”
The championships are heralded as an important step in the football journey, giving future stars of the game a chance to represent their State and test themselves against the best in Australia – with scouts keeping an eye out for fresh talent.
Martinson, who plays colts for Swan Districts and Carey Park, is intending to pursue the game to its highest levels – but is going with the flow and seeing where his journey will lead.