Wests Tigers hold NYC and SG Ball combined sessions
Brock Corfe (Twitter: @Brock_Corfe)
Wed 30th November, 05:42PM
Wests Tigers Development Staff have held two successful Under 20s and SG Ball combined sessions this week as the Club continues to strengthen its pathways with Balmain and Western Suburbs.
The first session was held on Monday night at Durrant Oval in Warwick Farm, with full squads from Wests Tigers Holden Cup and Wests Magpies SG Ball coming together for a pre-season training run.
The following night was held at Concord Oval, where Wests Tigers Under 20s trained with the Balmain Tigers SG Ball extended squad for 2017.
Each session went for approximately one hour in total, with players split into groups and put through eight-minute rotations at six different stations.
The stations incorporated core skills such as catch-pass, one-on-one tackle, two-on-one tackle and basic game elements.
Wests Tigers Development Coordinator Mitch Lewis, who works alongside Elite Pathway Development Manager Tyrone Collins, said the combined sessions were a huge success.
“The sessions went really well and it’s safe to say that development is in really good hands at both Wests and Balmain,” Lewis said. “That makes it easier for us when players come through to our Wests Tigers Brydens Lawyers Academy and then eventually through to the Under 20s.
“We currently have a range of SG Ball kids from Wests and Balmain doing some pre-season training with the Holden Cup squad, so it was about creating that culture of knowing where they can progress to once they finish SG Ball.
“A lot of the boys that are in our Holden Cup squad this year are local juniors, so it was good for them to go back and see some of their mates that they played with previously and coaches they worked under,” he said.
Lewis also pointed out that it was important for the current Holden Cup squad to build a relationship with coaching staff they may work with during the 2017 season.
“Our remaining Under 20s squad members go back to Wests Magpies in Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield throughout the season, so it was good for a lot of players to meet the staff that they may work with.
“Wests Magpies Ron Massey Cup Coach Nathan Waters and Leo Epifania (General Manager of Football Operations) were both at the session on Monday night, so some of the players will be working closely with those two if they aren’t selected in the Holden Cup side each week,” he said.
The sessions were a first of their kind for the Club, with development staff already planning for another session in the near future.
“We have done some similar joint sessions before but not to this extent,” Lewis said. “We have never done this sort of thing during pre-season where all of the boys are together.
“Usually it’d just be staff that would go down to Balmain and Wests training, but not the two squads joining up to train with one other.
“We are looking at doing this again in the New Year when squads have been finalised for both Holden Cup and SG Ball.
“That way the squads will be smaller and we can do some more team focused training rather than generic skills,” he said.