U18 Roxby Downs Internal Trial Report
It was an early morning start for our Under 18 Squad as they arrived at City Mazda Stadium for a 6am report time, well before sunrise to board the buses for the six hour trip up to Roxby Downs. All were accounted for after loading the gear in the dark and we were underway by 6:15am. After a couple of short stops at Pt. Wakefield and Pt. Augusta we arrived in Roxby Downs by 1:30pm, greeted with a hot 38 degrees.
The players were then free to explore the town for the afternoon having to report back to our base at the town recreation centre at 5:30pm. Players wandered through the main street, checked out the local Woolies to stock up on supplies, shot some hoops in the gym and stayed hydrated in preparation for the upcoming game.
By the time 5:30pm arrived the boys were well and truly in to game mode. Pre-game preparations were underway and the teams were announced by Terry Hutton to the playing group. Unfortunately West Adelaide had to play against someone in the internal trial and so those selected begrudgingly donned the North Adelaide guernseys from the clubs stockpile. The boys completed Josh Manuel’s (S&C Coach) warmup in the gym as a group and then split into their respective teams for final instructions from the coaches. Assistant coaches Jimmy Lyon (West Adelaide) and Rob Thompson (North Adelaide) took charge of their teams for the day, which was great for furthering their coaching development.
It is always difficult to play an internal trial game against the teammates you have trained alongside all pre-season. However, the instructions from the coaches to focus on doing the team acts, take some risks when moving the ball and display a strong work ethic from start to finish paid dividends. The West Adelaide side slowly started to show their dominance as the game wore on and by three quarter time had built a 5 goal lead. Strong performances from Elliot Dunkin and Toby Kewell, who was not beaten in a one-on-one contest all night, and strong hands from Will Irwin up forward gave them the commanding lead. While local lad Jon Secker enjoyed his home ground knowledge to standout with his hard running and smart decision making. For the North Adelaide guernseys Bryce Smith showed his great aerial ability, Zach Evreniadis ran hard on his wing collecting a heap of possessions and Lachie Eichner displayed strong leadership to try and keep his side in the game. It was not enough though as the West Adelaide side rammed home their dominance in the final quarter and finished up coasting to a 10 goal win.
Most importantly though, all the players displayed an ability to run the game out well in trying conditions and apart from the usual bumps and bruises no major injuries were reported. The group were keen to replenish their fuel reserves after the hit-out and the good chefs at the Youth Centre provided for the boys with a well-deserved pasta meal. Soon afterwards the group were keen to get some sleep and it was Jimmy Lyon who drew the short straw to keep an eye on the boys overnight.
Morning was greeted by a few sore bodies as the boys made their way back out on to the main oval to take control of a coaching clinic for the local lads aged 6-13. This proved to be one of the highlights of the trip as the players engaged with the youngsters tremendously well, teaching them to kick, handball and mark but also playing various games, teaching them how to take hangers and kicking goals from the boundary. Many of the locals made comment on how well our Under 18 boys conducted themselves and interacted with the kids present. It was a great reflection of the club by those boys and further strengthened our relationship with the zone. A nutritious brekky of bacon and egg sandwiches was cooked up by the coaching staff along with some fruit platters as the coaching clinic wrapped up and the boys tucked in before completing the morning with a swim recovery in the chilly town pool.
The finish to the recovery spelled the end of our trip and we promptly packed our gear up and boarded the buses back. We all arrived safely back to City Mazda by 6pm and Hydro was there to greet the boys as they stepped off. All in all it was a jam-packed weekend and as mentioned earlier a great advertisement of our club in the zone. The boys represented themselves in great fashion throughout the whole trip and should be congratulated on their conduct.
To make the trip happen a huge amount of work went on behind the scenes and without the funding and support from BHP Billiton and the help of Roxby Downs Sport and Rec Officer, Rebecca Cooke, as well as Rein Geraghty, Martyn Gobbie and the whole Roxby Downs Junior Football Association it would not have been possible. We thank them all for their efforts and continued support here at West Adelaide. Further it was a great effort from our coaching staff to make themselves available so thanks to Terry Hutton, Rob Thompson, Jimmy Lyon and Josh Manuel, along with our terrific trainers Caitlin Gardner and Talia McIntosh.
Jason Porplyzia, WAFC Talent Manager