SELECTING a NIAS tennis squad this weekend is going to be a tough task if last weekend’s intensive camp at Tamworth Tennis Club’s Treloar Park is any guide.
The NIAS selection day last Saturday was also part of a big weekend that also included Sunday’s Medibank Junior Development Series.
Tamworth tennis coach Jarrod Campbell will head the NIAS coaching staff and says he will have a strong squad.
“We had the first regional training day for 2014 (Saturday), with 50 regional players, both boys and girls attending, ranging in age from under 11 years to under 17 years,” Campbell said.
“Many of the athletes who were in force at the training day are hopeful of selection in the 2014 NIAS tennis squad which is selected this weekend.
“Seeing the athletes’ attitudes and commitment to hard work at the training day is a key factor in the selection process.
“The training day was a huge success.”
Campbell, Justin Sherriff and Dale Martin will head the NIAS tennis squad and, with some of the region’s best coaches, delivered a tactical and intense day’s training.
“We were able to see the serious level of dedication of the athletes on what was a very hot day,” Campbell said.
“All the kids performed well and gave 100 per cent all day.
“Considering how hot it was, along with some of the younger ages there, it was a fantastic effort.
“Consistency, aggressive baseline play, approach shots, net play, serve-return, point play and court craft tactics were all covered in the day.
“The high level of standard at the day coupled with the number of nominations for the NIAS program is going to make the selection of the 2014 squad very hard indeed.
“The region’s depth of talent is increasing year by year which is fantastic for northwest tennis.”
The NIAS program, sponsored by Inland Technology, will consist of a highly professional and detailed agenda.
Training days, workshops and tournaments are all requirements for the chosen athletes to look forward to.
Last Sunday, the focus turned to the Medibank Junior Development Series (MJDS) tournament.
The tournament is run under round robin format with players competing in their individual pools and the winners progressing to playoffs in the afternoon.
125 competitors in under 9s, 11s, 13s, 15s and 17s entered the event which used Treloar Park, West Tamworth and Farrer complexes to get through the day’s play.
“The MJDS is a great concept and format,” Campbell said.
“It allows the top regional players to have a high level of competitive tennis over the course of the day while at the same time accommodating new and less experienced players who gain valuable tournament experience.”
The MJDS is a series of tournaments held in all the towns around the region with the top eight boys and girls in each age group selected to play against the North Coast at the annual Champions of Champions tournament held at the Inverell Tennis Club in August later in the year.
From the Champion of Champions event, the top players will continue their journey to the state finals held in Sydney in October.
“It’s a fantastic pathway for the athletes to follow. Many goals will be reached and loads of fun will be had along the way,” Campbell said.
“I am ecstatic with how the weekend’s tennis went. The training day and the tournament went off without a hitch and the weather, while hot, was good.
“Many thanks to West Tamworth and Farrer for the use of their courts as the tournament could not be run without their generous support.”