By Tanya Faulkner
The recent performance of one up and coming footy player is proof that the Hills has no shortage of sporting superstars.
South Belgrave Football Netball Club are one of several clubs in the Hills that have seen superstar players through their club, with young Caleb Windsor being the next upcoming footballer to keep an eye on.
The youngster recently showed off his skills at an AFL drafting in Melbourne, in front of several AFL recruiters eyeing up their new prospects, with Mr Windsor coming in the top 10 across several tests.
Players were put to the test to show their speed, endurance and agility, for a chance to be recruited in the upcoming National Draft.
Mr Windsor’s 20 metre sprint came in most impressively, taking the third quickest time of 2.916 seconds.
His scores also came in the top ten for his vertical jump (73 metres) and his running vertical jump (93 metres).
South Belgrave Football Netball Club’s director of football Cameron Kidd said Caleb’s time with the club was actually quite brief.
“Caleb only actually played one game with us against Mitcham earlier this year, as he had other commitments with the Eastern Ranges Reps team and played his junior career with Lysterfield.
“He’s a ripping kid from a nice family, and moved to our club to play alongside his brother.
“When he did play with us against Mitcham earlier this year, he was named amongst the top five players for that day,” he said.
South Belgrave’s head coach Luke Galliott said despite having such a brief appearance with their seniors, he is still amongst the club as much as he can.
“He comes down and watches his mates that play with our club whenever he can, and makes regular appearances,” he said.
For Mr Galliott, it was clear the young footballer has a big future ahead of him in football.
“The good judges mean he could be anywhere between 15-25th in the list.
“When he played with us he was all into the decision making and made good use of the ball.
“His skills are right up there, and he has more to come in his career, and being in that premium environment will be great for him.
“He’s definitely a player for the community to watch,” he said.
South Belgrave Football Netball club have a strong relationship with Lysterfield Junior Football Club, seeing a lot of star players moving up the ranks and joining their senior teams.
Mr Galliott said Mr Windsor’s performance will be great for both communities, and it will be great to see his career progress.
“We are super proud of him, and our players we have in our club,” he said.
Mr Windsor has always had a passion for football, which stemmed from a young age, following in the footsteps of his father and brother.
Lysterfield under 15 coach Damien Newcombe said when Mr Windsor came into the club as a junior in the under 13s team, he could just see something different about him.
“Caleb was a player that was always on the move, he could find and create space, which is difficult for most players at that age.
“He had a dynamic engine and running capacity, and was one of the few players at that age who could run fast and kick with accuracy and speed.
“He’s got a natural ability to get on the run and play the ball well,” he said.
His career with Lysterfield was nothing short of strong, developing his skills year on year as he took to the field for the club in his junior season.
Mr Newcombe said he was an impressive player to watch.
“He came into his under 15s in an elite position.
“That was the year we had Covid-19 so it was a disrupted season, however he came in at his fittest that he’s ever been that year.
“His breakout year was his first season with the under 17s premier team that he came into as a bottom age player, and started playing for Eastern Ranges at Vic Metro level.
“Caleb went from playing mostly on the wing to coming into mid field, where his decision making and forward craft really developed between the two positions.
“In his final junior year with our under 17s team he only played one game with us, and spent the majority of the season at Vic Metro,” he said.
Mr Newcombe said Mr Windsor’s development and coachability will be his biggest asset as he moves forward in his football career.
“He just always listens, and goes about working on his own game – whether it’s feedback from his coaches or from just watching the game.
“He’s always doing that little bit extra to give himself the best chance at the top level, he works hard and he’s got the agility, speed and skill.
“Caleb has really developed his game, he’s an explosive player out of content, and at full speed he can hit targets from any sort of distance over 23 to 40 metres, which we saw in his Vic Metro games.
“He can leap and tackle hard, he knows his ability and he knows the area of the game he needs to develop as well,” he said.
Not only has Mr Windsor been described as a phenomenal player, he’s also been recognised by Mr Newcombe, for his nature off the field.
“I’ve had the fortunate pleasure to coach him and his brother, Kai.
“They come from a really footy oriented family, and they are both really respectful kids alongside their skills.
“The family loves their footy, love their teammates and the atmosphere that the club brings,” he said.
Mr Newcombe said despite a couple of injuries, Mr Windsor has a bright future ahead of him in AFL, and is looking forward to seeing where his career takes him.
“I think he knows where his footy is and he’s very receptive to feedback.
“Caleb has a strong foundation of dedication and hard work that will be a core part of his AFL footy.
“He’s a player that can play across the line in multiple positions, and if he continues to develop and accelerate the way he is, he’ll make something of it.
“It’s exciting for us to see, having been part of his junior football career,” he said.
The 2023 AFL National Draft commences on Monday 20 November, being held across three nights, with picks 1-18 coming on day one and subsequent national draft rounds taking place the following day.
A further pre-season and rookie draft will occur on the third day.