Locals Pride of place
FOUR local rugby league players have shown they have what it takes being selected for the Northern Pride Academy for next season.
Under-14 players Quinlan Cannon, Fraser Cotton and Adrian Wright-Brown and Under-16 player Curtis Hober will train with the best in the region ready to come up against the toughest in the state.
Northern Pride CEO Chris Sheppard said being selected means the players will have access to most of the facilities and services the professional players have.
“The players will get access to the best expertise training methods and resources and they are benchmarked against kids across the country so they know where they need to be in terms of endurance and strength,” he said.
“They will have access to doctors, physios, psychologists, the whole lot keeping it real professional and high performance units give kids access to that at a very young age, which definitely will get more kids through to NRL and the State of Origin.
“It’s a pretty big investment the club has made but it has grown exponentially and now we’re moving forward and have 20 players in every age group from Under-12 through to Under-18.”
The final 20 for some age groups are yet to be confirmed but for Cannon, Cotton, Wright-Brown and Hober, their training with the Northern Pride Academy will start next month.
“From November they will be training twice a week and that will go all the way through to trial games in February and the competition starts in March,” Sheppard said.
“It’s actually a statewide competition, they’ll play seven games, two double-headers, one up here and one down in Brisbane against Brisbane teams.
“Winners go through to the final and the Queensland winners will play NSW winners, it really is a national competition, which is great for the kids to get a high level of competition, fantastic for their development.”
Sheppard said a lot of talent for the Northern Pride has come from all over the district, not just Cairns.
“There is a lot of talent all around the region and what we’re here for really is to help the guys go to the next level from as close to home as possible,” he said.