BRAYDEN Gallagher is looking to start this year’s footy season on the right foot, after finishing the season on only one.
The Glen Innes Magpies star broke his tibia in the major semi-final against Uralla last season and missed the Under 16 premiership the next week.
Since then he has undertaken some intensive rehabilitation and is now fit and ready to roll after a pre season with the Greater Northern Tigers Academy.
“It took me about a month and a half for the bone to heal so I had to watch the trials at Scully Park,” Gallagher said.
“I was lucky enough to get selected in the U17 squad anyway and it has been really good.”
The Tigers held their first training session of the year at Werris Creek on Sunday, with both sides gearing up for a clash with their Newcastle counterparts next month.
The academy, led by coach Scott Bone, has been working on the boys’ individual skills in the off-season.
“We do a lot of technical stuff on the ground,” Gallagher said.
“Handles, weak spots, and where to aim.”
Despite the bad break, the Year 11 student is already ready to go and looking forward to the first game.
“We have all enhanced our skills and now want to get out there and use them,” he said.
Gallagher signed a contract with St George which will mean he will trial for the club after he finishes the HSC at Glen Innes High.
Until then he is concentrating on getting fitter and stronger and hitting his other goals.
“I want to win the premiership for the Magpies U18s and might look at playing reserves or first grade as well,” Gallagher said.
“I am also aiming to make the Tigers rep side again and perform well at the country championships.”
The off-season training that the academy does means the boys hit the season fit and ready to play, which helps avoid injury and burn-out.
“We are definitely fitter and have improved our skill set with the academy,” Gallagher said.
“It does pay off during the season.”
Gallagher is following in his brothers Jayden’s footsteps who similarly went right through the ranks at Glen Innes and with the Tigers, and is about to move to Sydney on contract with St George after finishing school.