Western Mustangs set up academy in WDJRL area

ACADEMY INDUCTEE: Tom Bell in possession for Collegians in a game against Stanthorpe in the Warwick and District Junior Rugby League in the 2017 season.
ACADEMY INDUCTEE: Tom Bell in possession for Collegians in a game against Stanthorpe in the Warwick and District Junior Rugby League in the 2017 season. Gerard Walsh

RUGBY LEAGUE: Twenty one players from the Warwick and District Junior Rugby League have been selected in the new Western Mustangs Junior Academy cell for the league area.

There are 11 players from Collegians in the squad, five from Tenterfield, four from Goondiwindi and one from both Wattles and MIT Jets teams.

NRL game development manager Jim Stevens is head coach for the junior academy cell in Warwick after recently being re-appointed as the Queensland Murri under 15/U16 Coach. The new academy has been established to cater for junior players from the Warwick and District league area.

League chairman Dave Landers said the Warwick and District league and its affiliated clubs were grateful to the Western Mustangs for deciding to establish an academy cell in the region.

"This is a fantastic initiative of the Western Mustangs to add a further academy program for the Warwick and District region,” Landers said.

"The academy will provide a wonderful opportunity for the players selected to receive a higher level of training without the necessity of travelling to a larger regional centre like Toowoomba.

"This initiative will assist in providing a defined pathway for all junior players in the south west to develop their game and to one day reach a higher level without leaving their junior club or home.”

Western Mustangs coaching director Dean Bosnich said the establishment of the Warwick and District Academy cell had been in the pipeline for some time.

"We recognise the talent in the Warwick and Border region with so many talented players having started their rugby league journey from this part of southern Queensland,” he said.

"The Western Mustangs Academy Program will provide a high level of coaching development for players in their own area without the need of excessive travel. This will be the fourth academy cell that we have established in the South West Queensland catchment, with the other academies in Roma, Kingaroy and Toowoomba."

The development program will be provided in the pre-season prior to club commitments for players aged from U13s to U 16s.

Stevens said he was looking forward to working with these young men in the coming weeks to help develop their skills and abilities, so they can continue their rugby league journey.

"We have only selected a small group of players across the four age groups to ensure an individual focus on each participant and their development," he said.         

Academy inductees

Under 13

Lane Eastwell - Wattles Warriors

Fletcher Koch - Tenterfield Tigers

Braith Clarke - Tenterfield Tigers

Tom Doherty - Collegians Dragons

Martin Bell - Collegians Dragons

Harrison Schwenke - MIT Jets (Texas)

Will Holley - Tenterfield Tigers

Under 14

Ayden Bate - Goondiwindi Boars

Trae Bennetto - Goondiwindi Boars

Dan Howard - Collegians Dragons

Under 15

Zac Beckwith - Collegians Dragons

Morgan Byrne - Collegians Dragons

Nick Carrie - Collegians Dragons

Jayden Lippi - Collegians Dragons

Isaac Jones - Tenterfield Tigers

Under 16

Carlos Smith - Collegians Dragons

Tom Bell - Collegians Dragons

Jacob Gross - Collegians Dragons

Connor Clement - Goondiwindi Boars

Torbin Milton - Goondiwindi Boars

Rielly Byrne - Collegians Dragons

Topics:  collegians goondiwindi boars mit jets rugby league tenterfield tenterfield tigers texas warwick and district junior rugby league wattles wdjrl

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