Camp a revelation for Academy players

THERE’S no off-season if you want to make it as a rugby league player.

The Wests Greater Northern Academy will hold its last training session for 2012 today but that’s not the only commitment some of the region’s best juniors have had this week.

GNA players Jay Gallagher (Glen Innes), Josh Pursche (Tamworth) and Drew Brown (Scone) joined 21 other players from CRL academies at the annual Country 2 City Education Camp in Sydney. 

The camp, organised by NRL Welfare Officer and former Dubbo, Parramatta and Bulldogs player Andrew Ryan, gives players an idea of being part of an NRL club’s system. 

Players enjoyed a strength and conditioning session with former South Sydney prop Scott Geddes at Russell Crowe’s private gym, attended a Roosters training session and the NRL Rookie Camp at Sydney Uni.

There the players mixed with former and current NRL players, including players from the Greater Northern region –  Armidale’s Dean Widders, Tamworth’s Alan Tongue, Tingha’s Preston Campbell, Warialda’s Kane Cleal and a former Narrabri resident in his early years, George Rose.

“The message that these former and current players give these players on the essence of hard work and striving to be the best player or person that they can be is invaluable,” Greater Northern Regional Manager Scott Bone said.

“Success is judged in many ways but a message through all the players was that if you make the right choices and are happy in whatever avenue that you wish to pursue, you can succeed.”

On the last day the boys had a taste of the Wanda sandhills before Bulldogs centre Josh Morris spoke with the players.

For Gallagher, this was the end of a busy week.

He and his Glen Innes High School side, which includes his brother Brayden and fellow GNA player Wade Campbell, attended a Dragons High Performance camp in Wollongong. 

Mitch Doring and Corey Manicaros will both today’s session as they are currently at a Parramatta Eels camp this week with games scheduled against Penrith tonight.

Today’s GNA session is the last before the holiday break and is important because there is only one session after the break before games against the Parramatta Under 16s and 18s at Armidale on February 2.

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