A select group of promising Wests Tigers juniors will spend time together this week in Campbelltown as part of the Club’s new Elite Juniors Training Camp.
The three-day camp, held at the Western Sydney University in Campus, will see around 24 talented youngsters who have been identified in the Harold Matthews and SG Ball teams of Balmain and Western Suburbs join together for the camp, focusing on growing them as players while also strengthening the Club’s junior pathways program.
Throughout the camp, players will spend time growing together as one unit, learning about Wests Tigers through Premiership Winners John Skandalis and also developing their skills as players with sessions from various members of the NRL coaching staff.
Elite Pathway Development Manager Tyrone Collins said the camp was a great reward for the players off the back of their performances in the junior representative teams.
“This camp is just the cherry on top of the season for these players,” he said.
“Being able to give them three days in close proximity with the NRL coaching staff is something you can’t underestimate the value of — giving them things that they can take in to their upcoming years throughout the junior representative program.
“It’s not like a school camp at all where we’re telling them what they can and can’t do; we’re giving them leeway to show us what type of people they are off the field, and for the guys that have those leadership qualities, to really shine through here as well.
“We’re not just teaching them about rugby league; we’re doing some cooking and some dietary stuff, and also working with the university about their studying options too.”
Collins added that bringing players from both junior representative teams together was also a key step for the Club in strengthening the existing junior pathways program.
“These players might see each other at training one night at a week or at a game here and there, but to come together here is really important and something we’re proud of because hopefully it’ll lead to them one day playing together at Wests Tigers,” he said.
“We’re going to work really hard in our Pathways Programs from now on that anything done at an NRL level is taken back down to both ISP and 20’s but also junior reps.
“What we’ll have is the U/13’s in Group 6 being taught the same thing as the U/13’s at Balmain, which is the same as the first-grade side. That’s really important for us so that when they come together at Wests Tigers in the future, they’re all on the same page.”