Play­ers train­ing for se­lec­tion at state champs

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

JU­NIOR AFL

THE Gold Coast Suns Tal­ent Academy level 2 un­der-16’s have been train­ing along with other ju­nior Sea Ea­gles play­ers who are look­ing to make the cut for the Mackay re­gional un­der-16’s team.

The Gold Coast Academy squad has been train­ing since Novem­ber at the Whit­sun­day Sports Park fol­low­ing a set pro­gram for all re­gions in the Gold Coast zones.

These in­clude Cape York, Cairns, Townsville, Whit­sun­days, Mackay and Rock­hamp­ton along with the Gold Coast and north­ern New South Wales.

The pro­gram has been de­vel­oped by the Gold Coast Suns and AFL Queens­land’s coach­ing, strength and con­di­tion­ing staff to en­sure play­ers im­prove across all as­pects of the game from strength and con­di­tion­ing to ba­sic skills and game sense.

Coach Jamie Furhmann said the same pro­gram was used by all re­gions to give ju­nior play­ers a smooth tran­si­tion if se­lected to at­tend train­ing on the Gold Coast or at higher rep­re­sen­ta­tive games.

The Mackay un­der-16s squad is re­cruit­ing and play­ers have been en­joy­ing an in­tense train­ing pro­gram in prepa­ra­tion of the up­com- ing cham­pi­onships in Air­lie Beach on March 29-30.

All re­gions will be sub­mit­ting teams into the car­ni­val in the hope of be­ing se­lected to rep­re­sent north Queens­land in Bris­bane at the state cham­pi­onships in May.

From this car­ni­val play­ers will have the op­por­tu­nity to make the Queens­land squad to play in the na- tional cham­pi­onships in June.

With the lo­cal com­pe­ti­tion not start­ing un­til May, many play­ers have had to push them­selves to en­sure they are ready to per­form in rep­re­sen­ta­tive games to give them­selves the best chance of pro­gress­ing to next level.

The Gold Coast Academy squad will face an in­tra-trial game in Mackay with the re­gion’s un­der-16s squad on Fe­bru­ary 8.

They will have a se­cond trial match in Rock­hamp­ton against the un­der-18s squad on Fe­bru­ary 15.

The un­der 18’s GC squad have a trial game in Townsville prior to the NAB Cup game be­tween Bris­bane Lions and Gold Coast Suns on Fe­bru­ary 22.

LO­CAL TAL­ENT: Ju­nior AFL play­ers Mat Jenk­ins, Ja­cob Healey, Rhys Furhmann and Michael Maltby are mem­bers of the Gold Coast Suns Tal­ent Academy who have been train­ing with other ju­nior Sea Ea­gles play­ers in the hope of be­ing se­lected for the Mackay re­gional un­der-16s team.

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