STRATH Storm has had to make do without one of its star under-12 players for most of this season - he's been busy chasing a football dream.
Midfielder Mason Wakefield has only managed a handful of games for his local side because he's been travelling to Melbourne for selection trials, scratch matches and training sessions with the Victorian schoolboys squad.
His hard work has paid off and Mason will represent his state at the School Sport Australia 12-and-under football championships in Sydney next month.
The grade six St Francis of the Fields Primary School student was selected in the team of 23 after impressing selectors at local and metropolitan try-outs.
"I didn't think I'd get in the team," he said of finding out via email he had made the final cut.
"After the last trial, I was going to Etihad Stadium to watch Richmond play. We were on a tram and got the email - I just yelled and everyone looked at me."
Among Mason's biggest fans are his dad Mark, mum Mandy, brother Mitchell and sister Marnie.
He began playing football in under-10s and is now in his third season with Storm's under-12 team.
Since his selection, he has been completing daily drills set by Team Vic coach Joshua Bourke to further improve his skills. He said he hoped to return from the championships a better player.
Mason also plays basketball, baseball and has a hit of golf but says footy is his favourite sport.
Principal Tim Moloney said the school was proud of Mason's efforts. He is the third St Francis student to make a Victorian football team.
The national titles run from July 19-26.