Northerners set sights on titles

TAMWORTH and New England talent will be firing up for NSW at the U15 National Championships starting this weekend in Hobart and Perth.

The championships commence tomorrow and will involve a big local presence, with Tamworth’s Jeremy Blakely, Ehren Hazell, Mitchell Lewin, Brady Curry, Kate Reynolds, Abigail Doolan and Em Chaffey and Armidale’s Tahlia Constance and Darby Chalmers all representing the various NSW sides.

The boys are off to Perth, with Hazell playing for NSW and Blakely, Lewin, Curry and Chalmers the Blues, while Chaffey, Doolan and Constance will line up for NSW and Reynolds the Blues down in Hobart.

Chaffey is stepping up to the 15s from the 13s last year, and backing up, along with Doolan, from playing for NSW at the indoor nationals.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.

NSW will head to Tasmania expecting to do well and have got a pretty handy side.

“We’ve got good strikers, a pretty strong midfield and are good at the back,” Chaffey said.

She expects Queensland to be pretty tough. Victoria should also be pretty strong.

For Reynolds, it will be her first taste of a national championship. She made the Country 13s last year.

“It should be good,” she said.

The Year 9 Calrossy student plays for Tudors and is stepping up to first grade this year.

She also plays for the Calrossy opens side and will play as an attacking midfielder for the Blues.

“It’s a pretty good team,” she said.

Hazell reckons they’ve got a pretty strong side too.

They’ve got four of last year’s side backing up and a pretty similar side to the 13s one that won a couple of years ago.

Hazell was involved in that but missed out last year after breaking his collarbone.

He got back for the last few games before the finals.

“It (nationals) should be really good,” he said.

He’ll play in the centre midfield and said they should be strong up front.

“We should be able to score plenty of goals,” he said.

Like Reynolds, it will be Blakely’s first nationals but the third NSW team he’s been involved in.

He played for the 14s invitational side last year and 13s 2s the year before that.

“It’s going to be good,” he said.

He’ll play in the backline somewhere and said they should go all right.

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