FOR SOME it was the last training session they will have with the Wests Greater Northern Academy and, after another long, hot summer, that might be a welcome fact.
Yesterday’s training run at Jack Woolaston Oval in Tamworth was the final preparation for the GNA as it looks forward to next Saturday’s big quad series against Western, North Coast and Northern Rivers.
For those who are graduating from the academy after two or even three years in the squad, that event will be their last in the program.
“Jay Gallagher has been here three years,” head coach Peter Stevens said.
“And Zac Collett, he wasn’t here today, but he’s been in three years too.”
A number of others are currently in their second and last summer with the GNA.
That made yesterday’s session the last training run with the academy.
It was another hot one and ended with another opposed game between the older and younger teams.
Stevens coaches the younger squad and said it performed well in the opposed session.
Now he just wants them to be better on the field next week.
“I reckon we’ll go pretty well next week,” he said.
“They just need to work on taking the right options.”
Senior squad coach Chris Brennan described this year’s squad as one of the most “professional and enthusiastic” group he has seen come through the academy.
Both teams have played against Parramatta, the Hunter Academy and a Newcastle U18s side already this month.
Those performances were mixed but the last big day against the other three academies at Farrer High School is a chance to finish the summer in impressive fashion.