Northern Inland Football commenced an intensive program of training in Armidale earlier this month in preparation for the Telstra State Championships to be held at Coffs Harbour’s International Stadium in June.
The training is the first of five sessions aimed at developing the under-11s and under-12 boys teams that were recently selected from try outs held in Tamworth.
The boys have been hand-picked by NIF coaching staff from several teams participating in the Northern Inland regions Skills Acquisition Program with strong representation from Armidale, Inverell, Gunnedah and Tamworth.
NIF Technical Director Howard Stubbs is looking forward to seeing Northern Inland perform and has been impressed with the depth of talent and commitment shown by the kids in the region to date.
“Northern Inland have always been competitive at these carnivals in previous years and there is no reason why this year should be any different,” he said.
The championships are major events for both players and coaching staff throughout Northern Inland, and coaches Matt Davis (Gunnedah) and Maree Wise (Tamworth) have high hopes for their under 11s squad.
“We are pretty confident the boys will hold their own at the carnival,” Davis said.
“They have been competitive against teams from Hunter and North Coast and Macquarie to date and we hope the boys can continue the form into the carnival and jag a win for Northern Inland.”
Ms Wise reinforced their prospects as she has witnessed the player development over the years.
“Many of the boys have been in the NIF Program since they were eight years old and have come a long way,” she said.
Adam Ramage, Armidale’s Head Coach said that the boys will grow from the State Carnival experience.
“It’s definitely another level and they will see that and have to learn to deal with the pressure that comes with that. It will be good for them whatever the result,” he said.
The under-11s boys team representatives include: Evan Kwan, Tommy Schaefer, Miller Harwood, Byron Kollosche and Austin Johns from Armidale; Noah Davis, Ben Cini, Ash Garnham, Mason Louis, Jayden Bender, Lucas Sardinha from Gunnedah and Jordan Byrne from Tamworth.
Stubbs advised that the Under 12 boys team is still undergoing selection with the final team to be announced next week.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.