Charged-up junior sides
A SWEATY pre-season development program could prove the key to success for Warwick and District Junior Rugby League sides as they prepare for their first representative game.
WDJRL secretary Cathy Hamel said the ARL-approved program was introduced last year to develop junior players’ skills and fitness during the off-season.
“There were some hot sessions during the summer, but parents and players were positive about the program and we feel it is a step in the right direction,” she said.
“Just how effective it has been will be gauged by how many of our players make it through to this year’s Mustangs teams, which is the next level of representative football.”
The most talented junior players from the region have been named in this year’s WDJRL Charger’s U13, U14 and U16 sides.
U13 Chargers coach Dave Fleming said he was impressed by the calibre of the league’s youngest players.
“The quality is there, but these boys now have to step up from club to representative-level football,” he said.
“Unfortunately we will only have had one training session before the boys play their first rep game against Toowoomba.”
The tight schedule leading up to the trial game on May 2 is also playing on the mind of U14 Chargers coach Peter Cavanagh.
“My boys trained really well last weekend and they are a good group of kids so I think they will do OK, but it will be a tough game first up,” he said.
Looking ahead the experienced coach said there were four or five young players in his team with the ability to earn Mustangs selection.
“If they are prepared to train hard and play hard they have a chance.”
Chargers U16 coach Shaun Henry was also positive about his team going into the representative season.
“These older players weren’t part of the development squad this year, so they don’t have that advantage,” Henry said.
“But the older age groups will be included in the future, which will be very beneficial.
“Meanwhile I am confident this U16 side can work together well as a team.”
The first representative game will be the Barrett Shield against Toowoomba on May 2.
Our Chargers teams are U13: Bradley Britton, Isaac Chaffey, Paul Christensen, Angus Croft, Jack Evans, Cody Fleetwood, Jacob Hanson, Jaylen Hieronymus, Greg Hoffman, Jordyn Hogdon, Tom Jensen, Brad Morrish, Jay Roosen, Jack Norman, James Shaw, James Taylor, Lewis Taylor, Matthew Whittaker.
U14: Tom Landers, Charlie Duroux, Will Carter, Dan Watson, Evan Lack, Scott McEwan, Mitchell Young, Sean Perrin, Joe Morris, Max Somes, Dalton Nielsen, Anthony Maybury, Tom Hardy, Harry Johnson, Luke Keogh, Darcy Williamson, David Dwan, Sean Olive.
U16: Patrick Gribbin, Callum Duncan, Dale McAntee, Trent Hohn, Harley Beckhouse, Brendan McIntosh, Ryan Grady, Joel Bradfield, Tim Sharpe, Tim Holmes, Dennis Reynolds, Michael Carter, Callum Miller, Luke Willet, Jarrod Smail, Michael Watt, Josh O’Brien and Brandon Peckham.