Academy net cast far and wide

MITCH Lennon is a talented young rugby league player from Inverell.

He’s also a handy cricketer and already played junior representative cricket for Northern Tablelands and Central North.

His twin sisters, Sarah and Kate, are more than handy cricketers too, and have just completed Australian Under 15 Girls’ Cricket Championships, playing for NSW and ACT.

However Mitch was far from the white clothing and red Kookaburra balls on the weekend.

He is one of 40 or so young players in the Greater Northern Academy.

Lennon, 16, was at Scully Park training with his fellow GNA squad members on Sunday.

He enters Year 11 at Holy Trinity in Inverell next year as well as hoping to play Under 18s for the Inverell Hawks in Group 19.

“It’s my first time in the Academy,”  Lennon said on  Sunday morning.

“It’s great fun. 

“I’ve been learning heaps.

“Little things make a big difference.”

Lennon plays in the halves and is hoping to widen his football knowledge to help him out next season.

Glen Innes’s Tom Say also plays in the halves.

The 16-year-old from Glen Innes attends Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School, as his father, Andrew “Marty” Say, did.

His father was a scheming halfback too but would readily attest his son has a bit more speed across the ground.

Tom put that to good use last year when helping Farrer to a Uni Shield Final and North Tamworth Under 16s to a Group 4 Under 16 premiership.

“The Group 4 premiership was great – we had a pretty good team,”  Say said.

“Unfortunately we lost the Uni Shield Final in extra time. There’s a fair few (from the Farrer squad) in the Academy though. 

“It’s my first time in the squad too.”

Say  enters Year 12 next year.

“It’s going to be a big year,” he said, school-wise and football-wise.

He and Lennon are part of some talented young players from Group 19 in the GNA.

Glen Innes’s Brayden Gallagher, son of former Magpie star Mark Gallagher, and Inverell’s Jack Jeffrey are also in the squad which will have one more session before Christmas.

After the Christmas-New Year break, the GNA returns to the training paddock to prepare for games against the Newcastle Knights juniors as well as an unconfirmed series against North Coast, Northern Rivers and possibly Western Academies as well.

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