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Pathway to AFL career opens

Thursday, 22nd April, 2010

* Greater Western Sydney Academy Program participants: Back: Mitchell Henderson, Heath Harris, Harry Cumming, Jackson McInnes, Simon O'Brien. Front: Mason Hunt, Heath Caldwell, Nathan Kickett, Sam Power. Absent: Liam King, Dylan Stuart. * Greater Western Sydney Academy Program participants: Back: Mitchell Henderson, Heath Harris, Harry Cumming, Jackson McInnes, Simon O'Brien. Front: Mason Hunt, Heath Caldwell, Nathan Kickett, Sam Power. Absent: Liam King, Dylan Stuart.

Another pathway to an AFL career has opened up for local players with the introduction of the Greater Western Sydney (GWS) team.

A GWS Academy program has been created locally to create a link between the local region and the new club. As part of the program, selected players will undergo 20 weeks of training, and receive visits from specialist coach Danny Stevens and former AFL star Paul Kelly. Along with regular training drills and fitness exercises, players taking part in the program are asked to identify the strengths in their game and focus on areas which they can improve. AFL NSW/ACT development officer Dale Tonkin said the arrival of GWS would increase local players' chances of forging an AFL career. "It's a really exciting time for our young players with the new AFL franchise. There are more opportunities available and more spots on AFL lists," he said. "We're working on enhancing their football abilities and looking to develop the areas of their game that need improvement. "They're a really good bunch of young guys and they're all willing to learn. One of their key strengths is their ability to learn and implement skills as part of the program." A number of Wentworth players have also been selected to take part in the program, including William Philp, Dylan Tyers, Sam Clyne, Zak Russell, Andrew Wall, Angus Crowley and Wade Hancock.

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