An impressive record
By GREG WHITE
LIFELONG friendships are the greatest reward for sporting teams that stick together, no matter what.
Trophies and titles are nice but the Northern Storm Under 16 boy's footballers will have more than premierships to discuss when they meet in future years.
Formed at Korora Public School and together since the age of eight, the Storm boys ended 2005 minor premiers before a 0-0 draw with Sawtell in the season decider.
"Completing half a grand final with ten men and losing only once to Sawtell in four outings will be something they'll remember all their lives," coach Kerry Albert believes.
They'll discuss winning every minor premiership (bar one) since 1999, every grand final of their age (bar one) and participating in the 2004 Champion's Trophy final.
Coach Kerry reveals they've played all over the country with a core group of regular troops.
"Hardly anyone has moved on," he said.
"A couple have joined over the years but those there now, are essentially, it."
Kevin Gordon, Matthew Latham, Doyle Clare, Tristan Albert, David Betros-Matthews, Jamie Kennedy, B.J. Wendt and Cahn Croucher have become the veterans, if that's the term for 16 year old's.
"David would be the best goalkeeper for his age I've seen," Albert said.
"But he didn't enjoy rep football.
"If he'd played rep more often the whole world would know how skilful he is."
Most of the team will progress to Storm open ranks with one moving to the Gold Coast and another switching to grade rugby league.
"The Storm seniors are the fast improvers of the competition," Albert said.
"My boys will provide the backbone and give everybody something to talk about."