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Recruiters eye Giants

Tuesday, 14th May, 2013

The Slater and Gordon Under 15 GWS Academy team. The Slater and Gordon Under 15 GWS Academy team.

By Darrin Manuel

Broken Hill’s best under 15 footballers have had a glimpse at top level football during trial games against SANFL club Central Districts.
The Slater and Gordon Under 15 GWS Academy team took on the Bulldogs’ juniors in two games recently, and learned a great deal despite not registering a win.
GWS Academy coach, Dale Tonkin, said his team had shown great improvement between the two outings.
“In the first game we showcased our talent, but our work rate and effort wasn’t quite up to standard,” he said.
“We came back, we regrouped and had feedback as a team and as individuals, and this time we were super competitive.
“Most of the players got to the level required based on work ethic, and we played some really good football.”
Tonkin said by the second game many of the players had started to grasp the fundamentals required for play in higher calibre leagues.
“A lot of the kids started to understand the tools and skill-set you need to compete when you don’t have the football.
“I anticipate that most of the kids learned from the experience and it was good to see them extend themselves and understand what’s required at this higher level.
“Things like running both ways, forwards rolling up the ground, defenders becoming attacking players and midfielders working hard on spreading from the contest.
“From that game I’m sure we’ll see quite a few of our kids competing at the Combined High Schools Carnival in a few weeks, and hopefully Broken Hill will have multiple State representatives.”
The local players also fell under the eye of GWS recruiter Neville Stibbard, who travelled from Sydney to watch the games.
“I came down from Sydney to have a look, most of the boys I knew and they are developing pretty well,” he said.
“The pathway for them now is to play in these type of carnivals to come under notice ahead of the draft in three years’ time.
“It gives them very good exposure to AFL recruiters and... there’s five or six players there that we will certainly monitor really closely.”
Mr Tonkin said he wished to thank the Picton Oval Committee, Central Districts, Heath Caldwell (assistant coach), Jarrad Ruddock (runner) and all the players’ parents for making the trip possible.

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