TWO of the Wests Greater Northern Academy’s brightest young talents have an extra reason to perform against Parramatta in Saturday’s games in Armidale.
Tamworth’s Mitch Doring and Manilla local Corey Manicaros have signed with the Eels for the next couple of years and can show exactly why against the Eels Under 16s at Bellevue Oval.
“It’s good for them,” GNA head coach Peter Stevens said.
“They’ll want to show that they’ve got it.
“The top 25 squad will be there and if they can put their best foot forward then Parra will realise that they’ve done the right thing by taking the initiative to sign them.”
The two young halves have already been to Sydney to train and play with the Eels junior sides but on Saturday they will trade blue and gold for maroon and gold as the GNA gets a shot at the NRL club in both under 16s and 18s age groups.
The GNA’s senior squad will take on the Eels U18s while Doring and Manicaros’s GNA juniors squad opens the day’s proceedings at 1.30pm against the Parra 16s.
They already have contracts but it is a chance for some of their GNA mates to show what they can do too.
“The rest of the boys have an opportunity as well,” Stevens said.
“If they play well it could be them.
“I expect one or two in the squad will impress the Parra blokes and they might follow them and give them an opportunity.
“It could be anyone from either squad.”
And it’s not just the Eels coaching staff who will be there to watch.
The NRL trial match against Newcastle means the Knights will also be on hand to see what the locals have to offer.
Another GNA player signed up is Werris Creek local and Country U16s rep Beau Parry and he also has a chance to perform well in front of the Knights.
Parry and Doring have been chosen as part of a four-man leadership group for the GNA junior squad.
The others are Group 21 rep Tyler Austin and Gunnedah local Callum Hayne.
Doring and Manicaros will share the play-making duties on Saturday while Parry will line up in the back row.