Once again our football club was a very busy place during the July school holidays with the running of our Elite Development Programs. Things kicked off on Monday July 10th with our Under 15’s arriving at the club at 11am for their overnight camp. The morning and early afternoon encompassed education sessions on how we would approach the State Championships the following week before getting out on to the ground and putting things into practice with an internal Metro v Country game. The Metro group showed their class running out convincing winners, although the Country boys battled manfully whilst dealing with lower numbers. After a quick debrief the boys cleaned themselves up to head over to the clubrooms and were greeted by two very special guests from the Port Adelaide Football Club, Will Snelling and Riley Bonner. Will and Riley are past players of the West Adelaide Football Club and both progressed through our Elite Development and Centre of Excellence Programs before playing senior football at the club. Will was a member of our 2015 Premiership winning side. They are now doing great things at Port Adelaide and hopefully have long AFL careers ahead of them. They spoke to the group about their journey through local club football to West Adelaide and beyond and no doubt the boys learnt some invaluable lessons from the chat.
The boys were quick to tuck in to dinner from our ‘Eat Like A Champion’ menu and the day was concluded with a viewing of the 1989 VFL Grand Final documentary. We headed over to the changerooms to setup our sleeping quarters for the night and the boys were certainly looking forward to a good night’s rest after a busy day. The overnight camp has become somewhat of a rite of passage through the football club and a terrific opportunity for our young players to bond as they cozy up for the night. Fortunately we all got through the night unscathed and awoke early next morning for a tough conditioning/skills session with the help of our Club Captain, Chris Schmidt, before breakfast. Final instructions for the next week’s championships were handed out and this completed the U15 camp.
As the camp concluded our U13’s started to arrive for their 4 day program under the tutelage of current League Vice-Captain, Tom Keough and former player Brad Kirk. They were put through their paces over the next three mornings with a heavy emphasis on skill acquisition and development, including a brand new field kicking test developed by Tom. This was all in preparation for our game against the Eagles on the Friday. Typically wet and wintry conditions greeted the boys as they arrived in the morning and our squad was spilt into two evenly matched sides to play 3 quarters each. Our first side put together a dominant display to run away winners, West Adelaide 13.5 – 83 to Eagles 0.1 – 1. Their fierce attack on the contest and good ball use in the conditions set up the strong win. The story was similar in the second game as we again took control early and kept applying the pressure. Another convincing result was had with the score line reading, West Adelaide 10.11 – 71 to Eagles 1.1 – 7.
Our U14 Elite Development Squad also embarked on their 4 day training and game camp in the afternoons. They were in the very capable hands of two of our highly skilled league players in Daniel Webb and Jack Agostino and their team of skills and mentor coaches. The continued focus on some of the technical and fundamental skills of the game were addressed with the group as well as incorporating some more team and ball movement patterns. Again our boys implemented their learnings over the three days into their games on Friday with great effect. The first game resulted in a win of, West Adelaide 6.7 – 43 to Eagles 4.0 – 24 and to finish off the second group had a commanding performance to deliver a comprehensive victory, West Adelaide 14.9 – 93 to Eagles 0.2 – 2.
It was another successfully run program throughout the week and we are sure the boys that were lucky to enjoy the experience learnt more about their football and will apply that knowledge to keep improving in the future. This group represents the future of the West Adelaide Football Club and we are striving to help as many as possible become the next league footballers at West Adelaide.
Talent Manager – Jason Porplyzia