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VFL: Ready to fire

PRESS PLAY above to watch the Louis Cunningham interview. Louis Cunningham talks about joining the North VFL team.

Louis Cunningham believes his two years of experience at TAC Cup level will put him in good stead for his first season in the VFL.

The explosive left-footer has been involved in the Oakleigh Chargers TAC Cup system for the previous two seasons, and has experience playing alongside draftees such as Jack Higgins (Richmond) and North Melbourne’s own Nick Larkey.

“I was a top-ager at the Oakleigh Chargers, and played as a 19-year old there as well,” Cunningham told North Media. 

“I obviously had aspirations to get drafted which didn’t work out, and when Carso (Andrew Carson - VFL Football Manager) called me I made the decision to come to North.”

With North’s VFL team aligning directly with its AFL team for 2018, Cunningham is looking forward to the opportunities this will bring.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to be a part of the team’s first year in the VFL,” he said. 

“It’s going to be great to work under the noses of the AFL coaches and alongside the players.”

With an emphasis on youth from the AFL list through to the VFL list, Cunningham is one of several players with TAC Cup experience to call upon.

“It definitely makes the transition easier knowing I’m not the only young guy coming across from the TAC Cup system and looking to step up their level of football,” Cunningham said.

As with any profession, the early stages of starting at club or workplace are often the hardest as you get to know the people around you, and this was no different for Cunningham. 

“Not knowing many people has been a challenge for sure, as it was obviously an unfamiliar environment to start with,” he said.

“But all the boys have been really good and have made me feel comfortable.” 

A part of the North Melbourne VFL side that took on the AFL list in an intra-club match simulation in late January, Cunningham is excited at the prospect of playing and training with AFL listed players.

“It was a really good hit-out playing and watching the AFL guys. Being able to see how they move the balls and their structures was really good, and will definitely help us for the year,” he added. 

“I’m really looking forward to learning off the boys who have played at VFL and AFL level to improve my game. 

“I’m going to look to learn as much as I can off these guys.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs