Mark up for challenge

By Georgia Smith

Benalla’s own high-flying ruckman Mark Marriott has enjoyed playing football since he was a young kid and isn’t showing any signs of losing his love for the game.

‘‘I’m not sure what it really was, my parents just bought me down to play footy and I’ve been enjoying it ever since,’’ Marriott said.

Marriott is showcasing his skills for the Murray Bushrangers in the TAC Cup competition and said he was enjoying the challenges that were thrown his way.

‘‘It’s a good level of footy, so it gives you a test every week and there’s always something you’ve got to be learning and improving,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s always a new opponent so it’s always challenging, especially being a ruckman.

‘‘When you’re local you sort of know your local opponents, so when you’re in that league you don’t really know who you’re coming up against.’’

Marriott also played in the Benalla junior league before joining the Benalla Saints.

After making the Bushrangers team last year, the tall 18-year-old was hopeful he would get another run for the 2018 season.

‘‘Playing in the team last year I sort of half expected it this year, but you’re sort of never sure, so it was good to find out that I was again,’’ he said.

Like many other keen players in the squad, Marriott has his sights on going as far as he can with his football career.

‘‘I’m just trying to play as best I can and get as far as I can with what I do, whether that’s VFL or AFL, but you have to be good enough to get that far,’’ he said.

So far Marriott is taking all the right steps to reach his dream, with his parents supporting him from the sidelines.

Despite suffering a broken leg playing footy when he was 16, Marriott said he had not had to deal too much with injuries.

Marriott has also held onto all of the advice and guidance he was given by coaches when he was playing junior football.

‘‘All my junior coaches have always been supportive and given me little tips and hints as I go along,’’ he said.

When asked what he loved the most about playing football, the talented ruckman said he enjoyed being able to run out every week with his teammates.

‘‘Probably just the team mates and the competitiveness I guess, it’s good just to get out and run around,’’ he said.