Next Generation Scholarship Camp 2016

  • The next crop of potential Wests Tigers players completed a three-day training camp this week at Concord Oval as part of the club’s scholarship program.

    The group of youngsters, aged between 15 and 18, were put through a number of development activities with the aim of enhancing their skills - both on and off the field.

    Eight players from the group were brought down from Keebra Park High School, with Wests Tigers continuing its successful development relationship with the Gold Coast-based school.

    Activities kicked-off on Wednesday with the schedule consisting of a gym instruction session, core exercises, catch-pass drills, shuttle tests, skill games and an opposed match against the current Balmain SG Ball side.

    The second day of camp began with a prehab and rehab session, followed by gym work, player testing, left edge versus right edge training, career choices seminar, defence training and recovery exercises (including ice baths).

    On the final day of camp, the players took part in a video analysis session, nutrition talk and a game preparation meeting with NRL Head Coach Jason Taylor.

    Wests Tigers vice-captain Dene Halatau also spent time with the group on the final day, speaking about the dedication and sacrifices you have to make as a professional rugby league player.

    Wests Tigers Recruitment and Development Manager Warren McDonnell said the camp was a success and looks forward to working with the group of players in the future.

    “The football staff were all really happy with the attitude and performance of the group over the few days,” McDonnell said. “The aim of the camp was not to suddenly turn them into NRL players, but to give them an idea of the level that they need to reach to play first grade.

    “The camp also gives them the opportunity to take what they’ve learnt back to their home clubs and continue to work on their development as a rugby league player.

    “The opposed session against Balmain SG Ball provided them with an idea of what the competition for places is like coming into grade, which will hopefully drive them to work harder individually.”

    The group of players left Concord Oval on Friday afternoon, with the club’s development team set to monitor the players throughout the 2016 season.

    Name Club
    Max Burey Wagga Brothers [NSWCCC U15 2014]
    Jedd Mitchell Sawtell Panthers
    Daniel Lavender Sawtell Panthers
    Jordan Moore Bowraville
    Lachlan Hobby Blayney
    Joseph Hobby Blayney
    Tom Mikaele Keebra Park [QLD U18 2015, AUS Schoolboys 2015, QAS U18 2016; Ipswich MM 2016???]
    Liam Hampson Keebra Park
    Liam Pakau Keebra Park [QLD U16 Maroon; Gold Coast White MM 2016]
    Spencer Poimatagi-Purcell Keebra Park
    Bryce Whale Keebra Park [Toowoomba]
    Oscar Tui Keebra Park
    Kelepi Vi Lui Keebra Park
    Kees Nicholson Keebra Park [QLD U15 Maroon 2014]

    [Brock Corfe, Fri 22nd January, 03:47PM,]

  • Interesting to hear that Tom Mikaele will be going back to Queensland? You’d think an Aussie schoolboy prop would be playing NYC this year, at least off the bench.

    Mikaele a top prospect for international rugby league

    FROM a self-confessed "little skinny kid’’ playing rugby to a future international rugby league prospect - Thomas Mikaele has enjoyed his year of firsts.

    The latest 2015/16 QT-City of Ipswich junior monthly sportstar has compiled a long list of achievements in recent months, culminating in representing the Australian Schoolboys under-18 side in two victories over New Zealand.

    Mikaele, who turns 18 next month, is also heading to Sydney in the new year to trial with the Wests Tigers under 20 side.

    The New Zealand-born prop is hoping to continue his recent progress by earning some game time for his new club in the Holden Cup.

    "I’ll fly down late January to meet them and train with them,’’ he said.

    Living in Redbank Plains, the teenager has strong Ipswich ties being part of Goodna’s premiership- winning under 17 side this season.

    However, it’s been through Keebra Park State School that he has forged his representative career since switching from rugby in 2005.

    "When I was young, I was a little skinny kid,’’ said Mikaele, who used to play centre/wing in rugby.

    "In high school I just shot up. And I changed position.’’

    He started playing rugby league with Redbank Plains in 2008, moving to the Goodna club and quickly establishing himself as a player of the future.

    The prop now weighs 115kg and stands more than 180cm.

    This year, he was part of Ipswich’s Mal Meninga Cup and Cyril Connell Cup sides, also going on to make Queensland Schoolboys and represent the Queensland under 18 State of Origin team.

    It was during that week-long camp in Melbourne that Mikaele had his first major contact with current State of Origin greats.

    "We got to meet them and have dinner with them,’’ he said.

    "We had a training session with them.’’

    Mikaele was named best forward for this year’s Cyril Connell Cup team.

    He captained this year’s Keebra Park State School team and was named Goodna Eagles Sportsman of the Year.

    The junior team captain played a key role for Goodna Black in their 28-20 under 17A grand final win over Springfield Black in this year’s Ipswich competition.

    "The highlight was pulling on the Australian jersey against New Zealand,’’ Mikaele said, thrilled to be playing for his new country.

    Australia’s under 18 side beat New Zealand 30-6 in their First Test at Wynnum before a 70-24 demolition of the visitors at Suncorp Stadium in the second game.

    "It was pretty tough,’’ he said playing against a team from his country of birth.

    "I learnt a lot.’’

    His allegiances are now firmly with Australia, having spent his early years near Auckland.

    Like many teenagers, Mikaele is entering a busy stage of his life.

    He is learning to drive as he progresses in his rugby league career.

    However his focus in the new year is with Wests Tigers as he chases a future NRL career.

    Asked why he loves rugby league so much, the quietly spoken player answers more confidently.

    "I just like the competitiveness and the physicality and playing with your mates,’’ he said.

    For his efforts, Mikaele is the QT-City of Ipswich junior sportstar for November in the 2015/16 awards.

  • Interesting, if that is the case, I look forward to watching his progress with the Tigers U20, or Balmain SG Ball team.

  • Cheers ALX22.

    Still seems odd that he’s not playing NYC. Still in school perhaps, or just closer to his family for a bit longer…

  • Still no sign of Tom Mikaele for Ipswich. Maybe he is injured???

    Max Burey (Bidgee Bulls U18), Jedd Mitchell (East Coast Dolphins U18) & Joseph Hobby (Western Rams U16) have been named for their respective teams for the U16/U18 Country Championships.

  • @ALX22:

    Still no sign of Tom Mikaele for Ipswich. Maybe he is injured???

    Max Burey (Bidgee Bulls U18), Jedd Mitchell (East Coast Dolphins U18) & Joseph Hobby (Western Rams U16) have been named for their respective teams for the U16/U18 Country Championships.

    He was named in the South Coast team for the State Champs, so guessing he’s not injured. He’s not still at school is he?? This was on Keebra’s website, but could be including alumni…? But frmo the second article it looks like its not. Could explain why he’s staying up there…


  • Thanks for that.

    Might be focusing on his schooling this year.

    Not sure how he will make QLD U18 if he doesn’t play in the MM comp/Colts?

  • Update:

    Has been named on the bench for Ipswich Diggers MM side.

  • Max Burey dominating for the Bidgee Bulls in the NSW Country U18 Championships.

  • I watched a highlight clip and he looks like a fine prospect.

  • @Pawsandclaws:

    I watched a highlight clip and he looks like a fine prospect.

    Any links? Would love to have a look

  • On you tube max burey in one of the country finals.

  • The Country Rugby League Facebook page shows highlights of the games each week. Scroll down to the 21st of April and look at the U18 Country Championships Highlights [Bidgee Bulls v Greater Southern Stingrays]. Burey is the halfback.

  • No doubt the Broncos are already trying to convince the good ones to ditch their contracts on compassionate grounds.

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