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Giants Academy awaits Mitchell

Thursday, 22nd March, 2012

GIANT STEP: Willyama student Mitchell Henderson has made the 60-man GWS Academy program. GIANT STEP: Willyama student Mitchell Henderson has made the 60-man GWS Academy program.

By Darrin Manuel

Mitchell Henderson will be in elite company this weekend when he heads to Sydney for an intensive GWS Giants football camp.

The 15-year-old was selected in the 60-man Under 16 GWS Giants Academy squad on Tuesday after impressing in a series of combined games.

Henderson travelled with fellow locals Cohen Smith and Jason Masclet over the past few weeks to compete in the Giants Zone series of carnivals while representing the Murray team.

The side was coached by local GWS Giants Academy coach Dale Tonkin who commended all three boys on their efforts.

“We were very competitive in all games which was very pleasing,” he said.

“All the boys did very well. All I asked from them was to set a competitive standard. It was performance driven; we weren’t too worried about the win loss ratio or scores.

“It was about the players extending themselves to play at their full potential and it was a great opportunity for them to do that at a high level.”

Henderson’s athleticism caught the eye of selectors throughout the games, and he was subsequently added to the Giants’ Academy Squad and invited to the upcoming camp.

“He utilised his athletic ability when he went into the ruck and he started to learn the defensive side of the game when he went down back with some strong spoiling as the third man up,” said Mr Tonkin.

“His athleticism really is his strength along with his vertical leap.

“He has a good ability to get to contests and his decision making and skill execution under pressure has improved considerably.”

Henderson said he was surprised by the sheer difference in skill level between local and representative football, but added that he was looking to the challenges that the Academy would hold.

Mr Tonkin thanked the players and their families for making trips to Narrandera, Albury and Canberra for ensuring Broken Hill was well repesented in the Murray team.

“I’d like to thank all the boys and especially their parents for making the trips. It was a huge effort,” he said.

“And also to the Picton Oval committee for use of the oval to train. Their continued support of junior football and AFL programs is very much appreciated.”

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