TALENTED Port Macquarie Dolphin Bailey Wootton will head to Albury in January after being selected to trial for the under-18 Country men’s state team.
The teenager is the only Port Macquarie representative in the team as he aims to make the final squad which will be confirmed at the start of 2017.
If successful, Wootton will play at the national titles in April.
State coaching development manager Nathan Kirwan said the Port Macquarie product would bring something different to the side.
“Bailey brings a lot of size into the team,” he said.
“He’s a raw kid, but has that inside presence both in offence and defence and rebounds very well.”
Kirwan said Wootton would continue to develop over time as a player.
“He’s got that deft touch around the basket which helps as well,” he said.
“It didn’t surprise me that he made the cut because I’ve had a bit to do with him over the years and he’s really developed a lot recently.
“He’s put himself in a really good position to make that final cut.”
Kirwan said the teenager still had some improvements to make to his game, but felt he was capable.
“He probably needs to continue to improve his shooting and be a really good free-throw shooter when he gets fouled,” he said.
“Hopefully he’ll continue to improve.”
Wootton said he knew he had work to do, but was pleased to make the first cut.
“I was pretty confident I’d make it to this stage, but it’s always a surprise,” he said.
“I’ve got a bit to work on before the next cut, but I’m confident I’ve got enough skill to get a good look-in for the squad.
“It’s also really good to get the club out there because the Dolphins are all about developing their players.”
Wootton said he would continue to work hard as the squad is trimmed from 18 to 15 and then 12.
“Probably my physicality needs a bit of work, but I’ll keep working hard for the next cut,” he said.
The training camp runs from January 14-21.
Selection for the state team will provide an opportunity for Wootton to press his claims for a top grade berth with the Dolphins.