Slattery named for NAB League
Thursday, 17th June, 2021
By Emily Ferguson
Local football talent, Adam Slattery is set to star in the GWS Giants Academy’s NAB League team this weekend.
The NAB League is the revamped TAC Cup competition. It is now essentially an Eastern-Australia-wide competition for recruiters to watch and scout players all in the one competition.
Slattery was confirmed to have made the Under 19s GWS Giants Academy team on Tuesday night, to play in Sydney against the Tasmania Devils on Sunday morning. “I’m very excited. I missed the start of the year due to injury so I was out for about 13 weeks with a hamstring injury, so I can’t wait. It’s a good opportunity and I’m very excited, so it should be good,” he said.
Slattery said training has been intense and frequent to get himself into the best form he can for his football, “It started last October with preseason with the Giants and then there were a few camps in Sydney with the Giants earlier this year that I missed due to injury. So while they were there, I was doing three PT (Personal Training) sessions a week with Brock Martin at CSC, plus the South trainings twice a week, so, yeah, training pretty hard.”
In what will be a jam-packed weekend for Slattery, it begins with his participation in a Debutante Ball on Friday night before travelling to Sydney, “They’re going to ring me today to work out flights but they’ve already booked me in so, hopefully, I’m flying out Saturday morning.”
The star midfielder and forward will resume his rotating role in these positions for the Giants, “I’ve always played as a mid/forward for them, so I reckon I’ll start forward and there’s three of us normally where one starts on the bench, one forward and one midfield and we just rotate every five or six minutes.”
Slattery is aiming to play his best brand of footy in this weekend’s game, “Just hoping to get some touches really. My defensive pressure is what they’re looking for and my speed, so I just need to showcase what I’ve got and hopefully they like that.”
Slattery’s selection in the team comes after being announced in the 40-man squad at the start of the year, “So in that 40-man squad they pick the team every week to play games. I was meant to play last week but I don’t know, because of Coronavirus and Melbourne, we were meant to play in Melbourne so they just swapped it.
“They rang me last week and said that I wouldn’t be playing because they’re not changing the team, but that I’d definitely be playing this week. And then they rang me last Tuesday and said they didn’t know if the game was going ahead, they said if it goes ahead then you’re definitely in,” said Slattery.
“So then the team came out last night (Tuesday) at 7.30 and I was in the middle of deb practice.
“They won by 80 points last week so I wish I played, we’re versing a hard team this week. It’ll probably be better playing a hard team, they said they wanted me for the hard team so that’s good.”
Slattery hopes this is the first of a few more games in the NAB League, “The Giants don’t play every round in the Nab League, I don’t know why but for some reason they don’t. So they were only meant to play three games but they’ve already played like four or five, this will be the fifth I think. We haven’t lost a game yet.”
GWS Giants Academy Manager Western, Anthony Tidball said Slattery has always had the “X-factor” which he is now putting on show and he’s put in the hard work to play at this high level.
“Adam has been part of the Giants program since he was 12, so we started off with a bit of a chubby little fella running around in the 13’s and he’s always had some X-factor that made him stand out from the rest,” said Tidball.
“Now his training has ramped right up, he’s put a lot of his own personal time and effort into getting himself to a standard that’s at the level to play representative or NAB League level. He’s done a lot of work with Brock Martin at CSC, they’ve done a lot of work together. He’s really got himself to a level that he’s actually a fair chance to be drafted in the next couple of years.”
Initially there was a group of one hundred Under 19 age Giants which gets cut down to the 40 man squad by regional managers and coaches across the district. “Adam was always going to be part of that, just due to what he’s done over the past few years and his games down at North Adelaide,” said Tidball.
“Then he went down to camps and performed really well in the trial and internal matches at the Giants, but he hurt his hamstring pretty badly over there and tried to come back a bit early and hurt it again. So he probably would have been in the round one team, but due to injury he wasn’t.
“Now that he’s finally right he was going to be picked last week but we couldn’t get any flights to get him over there, so this week was the perfect week to get him over. He’s playing one of the top teams, Tasmania I think are sitting second on the NAB League ladder, so it’s a really great opportunity for him.”
Slattery is the first local player who has gone all the way through the Giants Program to make it to the NAB League in its new format. “It’s an exceptional feat for someone from Broken Hill to make it, just due to the time, travel, commitment and juggling that, plus making sure that they’re working or going to school or doing whatever, so it’s a pretty awesome effort,” said Tidball.
“It’s a really exceptional effort to make pretty much the Under 19 level equivalent of the AFL, it’s a pretty awesome feat so it’s something the town should really cherish, it doesn’t happen every year. What Adam is doing is really paving that way and a great example for the young guys coming through.”
Tidball encouraged local football lovers to make the effort to watch Slattery in action, “If you do get a chance and you want to go down and watch him in a South game, you can watch just how well he does at local level.”
Slattery’s game with the GWS Giants Academy team will be live on the NAB League App from 9am for anyone who wants to watch. “If anyone from Broken Hill is interested or keen, jump on and have a look,” said Tidball.