TAMWORTH’S U18 boys will have an international start to their State Championship campaign at Ashfield today.
The Ellee Wallington and Tony Fisk-coached side are drawn to play the invitational Hamilton Boys High side in their opening game.
It’ll be their first of three with UNSW Wests to follow and Hunter Grey to finish with.
That will be a big test with Hunter, Sydney Uni and Cronulla expected to be the powerhouses.
They’ve got the latter two
The weekend will be another step up in their preparations for the National Championships later in the year. Two weeks ago they played as one of the two Tamworth opens teams at the Country District Championships, and from their performances there they should be competitive.
Their only real concern is an injury cloud over Max Colby.
He copped a knee to the back playing in the All Schools Championships in Sydney during the week.
Mitch Salter, Paddy O’Brien, Nathan Pyne and Laarn White were also involved in those.
Colby, Salter and O’Brien played with the Combined Independent Schools 2s and White and Pyne the Combined High Schools 2s.
It was a good warm-up for the weekend. Keeper Ryan Parker’s experience with the Hunter Hurricanes will also be a bonus.
He’s sat on the bench for their home games, and while he hasn’t got to play yet, just being around that environment he’s picked up a fair bit.
The Tamworth 18s girls are also down in Sydney and face Cronulla Blue and Sydney Uni today.