Beach boys show they are learning quickly
By MITCHELL DALE
COFFS Harbour lads Ryan Beinefelt and Paul Jones have put the national beach volleyball fraternity on notice after an outstanding debut at the Australian junior titles on the Gold Coast earlier this month.
It has only been three months since the duo first combined on the sand, but they blazed through their first major tournament, beating rivals with years of playing experience.
Beinefelt, 17, and Jones, 16, expected the national tournament would be a learning curve, but the pair ended up dishing out a few lessons of their own en route to a creditable fourth of 40 teams.
Beinefelt, an apprentice carpenter, says the result at the Gold Coast has the lads primed to return next year and take out the competition.
"That result has given us a lot of hope for next year," he said. "We have set ourselves a few goals now, we want to win the (National) event next year.
"We certainly didn't think we'd go as well as we did."
Jones, an Orara High student, says he picked up a lot from the tournament
"It was a good learning experience, we've only been playing together about three months and that was the first (tournament) we have played in," Jones said.
"We thought we would do alright, but not that well."
The duo's mentor, Adam Kay, believes the sky is the limit.
"They both have a lot of natural ability and they are prepared to listen." Kay said.
"Don't get me wrong, they still have a lot of work to do on their game, but there is no reason why they can't play on the Queensland or National (open) tours.
"The conditions were typically tough for the event.
"The winds were playing havoc with unprepared teams, pushing the ball around and throwing sand all over the place and the sun was blisteringly hot. Most players hailed from the larger capital cities, so the result shows the boys can mix it with the best."
The pair are also accomplished indoor volleyballers, having recently returned from the Future Stars Program in Forster, which is a stepping stone to gaining positions in the junior NSW indoor volleyball team.
For any questions about getting into a team for either beach or indoor Volleyball, contact the Coffs Harbour Volleyball Association on 0407 007 452 or visit the web site at www.chva.org.au.