THE Northern Heat have impressed during their clash with a Gold Coast representative team on Saturday.
Held in Byron Bay, Tamworth young guns Ed George and James Vallender starred in their side's loss.
Trailing by 10 goals at the final change, the Heat showed heart to finish the game strong and outscore their opponents in the final term.
AFL North West community football manager Paul Taylor said he was pleased the side's efforts.
"The Northern Heat program was all about developing the players and there's no better way to learn than to test yourselves against a strong opponent," Taylor said.
"For us, the measurement of the success of the program isn't on the scoreboard, it's looking at how much each individual developed and grew as footballers across the four sessions we staged."
Throughout the game, the Heat players were monitored with state-of-the-art GPS tracking.
The monitoring followed similar steps taken during the side's training sessions and practice match against the Burleigh Bombers.
Taylor said the program was designed to give the players an "elite" experience.
"For the match we used GPS trackers again, whilst our preparation, warm-ups, and recovery were led by former [Sydney] Swans strength and conditioning coach Matt Pine in line with how the Swans go about their task," he said.
"This has really opened the players eyes to what it takes to be an elite, professional athlete."
George and Vallender will now look to the start of the AFL North West season on April 27.