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Mentha produces eye-catching performance for AFL Academy

Jackson Clark -

Talented Central Australian prospect Ricky Mentha produced a handful of eye-catching moments while playing for the AFL Academy on the weekend.

Mentha was a member of the 2024 Marsh AFL National Academy team that lost to VFL outfit Coburg by 26 points on Saturday at Ikon Park.

Despite the loss, Mentha was able to show his class and x-factor on a number of occasions, including kicking a classy banana goal during the third quarter.

He almost kicked another goal in the second term and was able to show his poise and clean hands at ground level throughout the contest.

The Territorian spent most of the game in the forward-line but spent times rotating onto the wing.

Mentha is a versatile prospect who has the ability to play across all areas of the ground. He has neat kicking skills, excellent athleticism and rarely fumbles.

Ricky Mentha had a couple of classy moments for the AFL Academy on Saturday. (Image: AFL)

The 178cm Mentha relocated to Victoria and has spent the past two seasons playing for Coates Talent League club Gippsland Power.

The 17-year-old kicked seven goals from six matches for the Power last season and has played two games in 2024, with a 12-disposal, one-goal effort against Bendigo Pioneers in his latest appearance.

At the beginning of the year, as part of his AFL Academy requirements, he received an opportunity to train with the Melbourne Demons.

He has previously shown strong signs at national level with a string of solid performances for the Northern Territory at the U16 AFL National Championships.

The AFL Academy will have another opportunity to test themselves against bigger-bodied opponents when they face Footscray in a fortnight’s time.

Talented West Australian product Malakai Champion is a member of the Academy, but missed the Coburg clash through injury.

The AFL Academy is described as a an ‘accelerated football and personal development program that provides the next generation of stars with experiences, learnings and further opportunities’ to assist with their football journeys.

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