A MONTH after the next generation of players from across Group 10 were given an open invitation to learn from some of the best coaches at the Penrith Panthers, Western Division got in on the act in Bathurst yesterday.
In March a group of Panthers officials, led by high performance manager Matt Cameron and senior recruitment manager Jim Jones, offered their services to any under 14s and 15s player within Group 10 who wanted to get involved at a handful of clinics at Learmonth Park.
Yesterday at the Sportsground around 50 players encompassing the entire Western area were hand-selected to attend and work further on their football, once more under the tutelage of Cameron and Jones.
A handful of other Panthers coaching staffers were also on hand to help out as the group began with a couple of low-intensity warm-ups before moving into some more specific and physical drills and exercises.
“We’ve run this event before. It is invitational, so this is basically the cream of the talent from across the region in these age groups,” Jones explained.
“We rotate them through a lot of drills and do a bit more high-intensity stuff because they are already into their club football and they have more training under their belts.
“You can specialise things a bit more at this time of year and especially with the better players being here. We work on different offensive and defensive techniques.”
Bathurst-based NRL development officer Dave Elvy said it was important that players in the country were exposed to some of the coaching ideas and methods that were being used by the Sydney clubs, even in their junior grades.
“This is more like what goes on in Sydney, the sort of stuff they do in Harold Matthews Cup sides and SG Ball as well,” he said.
“The thing that these kids get out of this is that they can see for themselves that an NRL club in Penrith is using these ideas and techniques.
“If the Panthers say it, they start to get a bit more likely to listen to it and take it onboard.
“It makes them more likely to listen to their club coaches when they try and teach them the same thing in the future. I know the kids enjoy it and the parents of all of them are pretty excited about the opportunity as well.”