Football News

Young Eagles Spread Their Wings

Mattaes Phillipou and Nathan Barkla, both members of the Eagles 2021 U18’s Premiership team, are making their way to the big league after earning their spots on AFL lists.

Phillipou, the only Croweater invited to Melbourne on Wednesday as part of Fox Footy Channel’s live coverage, was forced to sweat as interested clubs Essendon and Hawthorn went in a different direction before St Kilda pounced at pick No.10.

After receiving plenty of attention from the Bombers and the Hawks in the week leading up to the AFL Draft, Phillipou landed nicely for the Saints, who will be coached by Ross Lyon in his second stint with the club next season.

”I’m sure I am going to learn a lot,” Phillipou said of playing under Lyon’s guidance on Fox Footy Channel.

”Growing up you always used to say that Ross Lyon has got the Dockers in shape so it’s pretty funny to now be coached by him.”

Phillipou paid tribute to his family, particularly his dad Sam, who has played an integral role in him getting to the point of lining up with the Saints.

”I know dad was pretty emotional yesterday which is pretty rare for him as I have never seen him get emotional,” Phillipou said.

”It means a lot for the family, not just dad but for mum and all of my friends as well so I am really excited.”

Nathan Barkla was selected by the Port Adelaide Football Club through the Multicultural NGA Program as a Category B Rookie.

Barkla played 3 senior games with Port in the SANFL this season as part of the program development, whilst continuing to represent the Eagles at U18’s level.

We wish both Mattaes and Nathan all the very best in their football journey.