It?s all about commitment
By GREG WHITE
SEVEN games of football in a week is a breeze compared to what Sam Galloway and Jim Fogarty have planned for February.
Selected in a party of 35 players from the New South Wales Institute of Sport to tour Malaysia, Jim and Sam will be available for eight matches over nine days, with not much spare time for sightseeing.
"Seven (games) in a week isn't unusual when things get busy during the course of a season," Jim said.
"When club, school and Institute matches run into each other it's a matter of getting the planning right.
"Plus, we both spend around fours in the gym and four hours at training every week in addition to playing the sport."
Both were key members of the Northern NSW under-14 boys squad who made the grand final of the Qantas national youth championships played in Coffs Harbour during October.
Sam was named one of the most impressive strikers discovered during the tournament while Jim's athleticism at goalkeeper went a long way toward putting his team into the decider.
Institute coach Mark Jones added any player wanting to make a career in football needed commitment by the truckload.
"It takes around 10,000 hours to make an elite player," he said.
"That works out at one thousand hours per year, for 10 years.
"And then, they must have something extra like a touch of class or a mental attitude that gives them an edge over other players."
Both lads see big advantages from making the tour, despite the loss of free time and the expense of travelling.
"Every game is a trial against a team we don't know much about, so that we're prepared for anything," Sam said.
"It's designed to get us helping each other and playing as a team."
The Asian expedition won't be their first trip out of Australia.
Sam has twice been to Bali with Jim visiting New Zealand.
"It was for holidaying without any football," they said in unison.
No holiday tour this time ? just the business of football.