Youngsters eye path to AFL
Thursday, 12th April, 2012
A handful of the city’s best junior footballers will look to fast track their development and work towards an AFL career through the Under 14/15 GWS Giants Academy.
Around 20 players will take part in 12 weeks of intensive training with Academy coach Dale Tonkin to improve their skill and endurance in a variety of specialised drills.
Handling and applying pressure in a contest will form a big part of the training program, Mr Tonkin said, along with a focus on the work required of players when they are not in possession of the ball.
The players will also compete in a series of combined games, two of which will be played against juniors from SANFL powerhouse Central Districts, while the other will be against Woomera Districts.
Mr Tonkin said all players’ performances during the games would be analysed to ensure they can improve as much as possible.
“We’ll be trying to give direct feedback. All the games will be taped and we’ll review them with each player,” he said.
“One of the best learning tools in my opinion is for the players to be able to see themselves and how they’re operating.”
The Academy program also provides one of the most direct pathways to an AFL career, given that Broken Hill falls into the GWS Giants’ recruiting zone.
The Giants will have priority to players participating in the Academy when they are old enough to be drafted.
“It’s a great opportunity for the players to showcase their potential and challenge themselves against teams that play at a higher standard,” said Mr Tonkin.
“I wish them all the best of luck, and we’ll try and get the best out of them at the Academy.”
Participants in the Academy will play their first combined game in Adelaide on May 20 against Central Districts.
The full squad:
Cody Ellis (W), Lachlan Harvey (C), Josh Cieslik (W), Kobe Mutch (N), Isaac Cumming (N), Jackson Ruddock (N), Lachy Tiziani (N), Jayden White (N), Nash Mitchell (N), Tom Ragenovich (N), Ethan Slater (N), Angus Gillespie (N), Trent Barraclough (N), Brodie Sanderson (S), Alex Johnson (S), Tyson Schorn (S), Rourke Barker (C), Sam Simmons (N), Mackenzie Attard (W).