BENDIGO Gold midfielders Jake Aarts and Sam Heavyside have been selected in the 2014 AFL Victoria VFL Academy.
Aarts and Heavyside were selected in a squad of 22 for the Academy.
“The Academy gives these players the opportunity to be part of AFL Victoria's high performance program,” AFL Victoria VFL Academy coach/mentor Darren Flanigan said.
“They have all been selected due to their potential, and we will work with these players to further develop their game across the year along in addition to the support they receive at their own VFL club.”
The squad met for the first time in late February, with the Academy and its requirements outlined to each of the players.
The players will meet for their second session later this month, where they will attend an AFL game and be asked to analyse the performance of an AFL players’ game.
This is the third year of the VFL Academy. Over the first two years of the VFL Academy, five members were drafted to the AFL – Jack Frost, Kyle Hartigan, Dean Towers (2012), Ben Brown, Jacob Ballard (2013).
"It's huge for both Jake and Sam,'' Gold coach Aussie Jones said.
"The reason I recommended both of them for the squad is their character.
"They have a desire to improve without ego in their footy. That's what this Academy is all about."
Meanwhile, the Bendigo Gold's Good Friday clash with Essendon will now start at 2.30pm.
The game had originally been scheduled to start at 6.30pm.
The Gold-Essendon clash is the only game in Bendigo in the afternoon on Good Friday.
In the BFNL, Kyneton hosts Gisborne and Castlemaine is at home to Maryborough. On Good Friday night, Kangaroo Flat hosts Golden Square.