THE Bendigo Pioneers have unveiled a leadership group of five headed by captain Harvey Gallagher in the build-up to their first game of the NAB League under-19 boys season this Saturday.
Gallagher will lead the Pioneers into battle against country rivals Greater Western Victoria at the Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Sandhurst's Gallagher is joined in the Pioneers' leadership group by Echuca's Billy Barnes and Jed Brereton, Sandhurst's Jacob Nihill and Balranald's Jason Gilbee.
The leadership group was voted in by the Pioneers' playing squad ahead of Saturday's season-opener.
"Every player on the list had a vote and these were the five boys selected by the group," Pioneers coach Danny O'Bree said on Thursday
"We've got three 19-year-olds (Gallagher, Brereton and Barnes) and two 18-year-olds (Nihill and Gilbee) in the group.
"Harvey was the clear pick for captain of the team. What he has done to reinvent himself as a new player from the 2021 version is a credit to himself.
"He has taken his leadership and genuine interest in everyone on the list to another level... and that's not just the boys program, it's the girls program as well.
"He has done a lot of vision with the girls, been a runner in games and really taken everyone in the program under his wing and just wants to develop others.
"The staff and playing group have seen that and that's what has him standing out. The role of captain is one that Harvey will thrive on, so the boys are all really looking forward to him leading."
Gallagher is in his fourth season in the Pioneers' program.
"I'm hoping to develop together as footballers, but not only that, build into beautiful humans," Gallagher said following his appointment.
The Bendigo Pioneers have an under-19 boys list of 54 players this year representing 27 clubs across the region.
The Pioneers will play 13 home and away games in the NAB League this season, starting with Saturday's clash against the Rebels at the QEO from 2pm.
The under-16 boys (noon) and under-19 girls (10am) will also play the Rebels on Saturday.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.