PULL-UPS, push-ups, vertical jumps, hovers, 10 to 40m sprints and beep tests were just part of Saturday’s Greater Northern Academy induction at Tamworth Sports Dome.
No easy ride for the squad of 42 teenagers selected recently to take part in the 2013/2014 Greater Northern Academy Squad.
After an introduction and welcome, the boys under went skin fold tests and then came the physical labour, a starting point for a summer off-season that will prepare them for a big 2014 winter.
Greater Northern regional manager Scott Bone makes no apology for the toughness although he said the schedule had changed since one young teenager, from Coonabarabran, managed to make an outstanding 20 in the beep test.
“He was stuffed. He couldn’t do any other test after that,” Bone recalled. “Great that he did, that’s how keen he was to do well.
“So now we have the beep test after the others.”
They were exacting enough but confirmed the young squad members have all stayed in good shape since the end of the season.
A two-day camp at Lake Keepit on November 16/17 is now on the agenda for the GNA squad.
“We have a very good mix of young players from all across the region,” Bone said.
Young men such as Denman’s Jackson Ball comes off a season where he played Harold Mathews Cup for the Newcastle Knights Under 15s.
And there are others such as Isaac Austin, Brad Johnston, Brayden Jerrard, Marcus Hayne, who are the sons of some famous and talented fathers who played in the Greater Northern Region or in the NRL.