Bordertown Football Club junior colt Mehdi Ghulami has been selected in the AFL's World Team squad which is playing in Melbourne this week.
He was selected by Next Generation Academy managers and AFL club recruiters, following a state talent program and talent identification camp.
The Flying Boomerangs and World Team squads of 25 are chosen based on school attendance, leadership skills, and football ability.
The World Team is made up of the best upcoming AFL multicultural players from across the country.
The two squads flew to Melbourne last Sunday for a week-long camp where they underwent a number of cultural, education and football training sessions.
Both teams then went head-to-head in their first of two exhibition matches at Trevor Barker Oval yesterday. The second game will take place on Friday.
Mehdi was born in Afghanistan and has achieved a great deal in a short period of time since arriving in Bordertown around 18 months ago.
Remarkably, in his first season of playing football, he surprised everyone to win the junior colts best and fairest award as a middle age player.
Club officials praise his fierce determination and the way he leads the way every week with his tackling and willingness to be involved in the play.
Although Mehdi has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to his kicking and decision-making, his motivation to learn and improve is second to none.
A "very popular" member of the Roosters team, the football club is very proud of Mehdi's achievement and hopes he showcases his talents during his week in Melbourne.
AFL general manager game development Andrew Dillon said the Flying Boomerangs and World Team programs play an important role in the development of the next generation of AFL talent.
"The programs are vital parts of the AFL talent pathway system and provides a great platform for the next wave of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural talent to develop not only their football skills, but leadership skills which they can take back to their local communities," Mr Dillon said.
"We've seen a number of elite AFL players come through these programs over the years and we look forward to witnessing the next stage of development for these players, coaches, and umpires."
Some AFL players of note to come through the program are Sydney's Aliir Aliir and Gold Coast's Touk Miller.
Mehdi's meteoric rise from only picking up a Sherrin for the first time last year, to performing alongside some of the most talented indigenous and multicultural footballers in the country, is nothing short of incredible.
With the leadership and determination he shows playing for Bordertown, there is no reason to suggest the dream of playing AFL is out of reach.