Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The wait is over for our junior sides. They’re campaigns kick off in Rockhampton on Saturday. Playing the Pride in Tully at the beginning of February gave all four teams a taste of what’s to come in their respective competitions. Our under 17 girls get will get the action underway in what will be a historic moment for the players who run out against Capras. Coach Rebecca Petersen believes there’s a good balance between nerves and excitement.

“We named the first ever team yesterday and I Literally said you know you’ll be making your debut for the Blackhawks so take everything in and just go out and enjoy it. That trial was great to have, to help with that sort of experience and from that match we’ve worked on having continuous communication, and also our line speed in defence.”

The Under 17 boys are battled hardened having played two trials ahead of their first clash. Nathan Norford jumped at the chance to give his side another run, when French touring team Pacifique Treize travelled to Townsville.

“Obviously our whole squad got an opportunity whether it was in one game or another. I think there’s some boys that have come back from last year looking solid but in relation to some of the boys that weren’t in the squad, they’ve definitely given me some headaches running into the first round. But it’s a long season and what we need is a really good squad pushing each other for positions.”

The under 19 girls are expecting their toughest tussle first up. The visitors aren’t lacking motivation after having a tough time of it in Central Queensland last year. Coach Rob Hall senses his players eagerness to make amends.

“Browne Park can be a pretty intimidating place to play, as we found out last year, when were on the end of tough result. But I think we match up well with them, both similar sides who go about their footy in the same way. We’re not really focused too much on them. It’s really been about looking at ourselves and what we need to get right.” We were pretty strong in that trial we took a lot of confidence out of that.”

The under 19 boys will be out to string some sets together in attack, in their first match after slippery conditions and rust related errors crept in during their Tully trial. Coach Luke Harlen praised the players commitment against Northern and also they’re attitude towards improving, ahead of facing the Capras.

“We didn’t play our best and plenty to improve on but I was pretty happy with the efforts of everyone. Our ball control wasn’t great so we’re just really focusing on our fundamentals at the moment, just trying to do the little things right. The boys have been working hard trying to fine tune the basics, which will give us the best chance of winning.”

Our teams will travel together on a charted flight, departing and returning to Townsville on the same day. The first game starts at 11am with the final clash kicking off at 4pm.