Under-18 elite in Coffs

Footy fever: Action in the 2011 AFL NSW/ACT Joss State Zone Trials begins on Monday.
Footy fever: Action in the 2011 AFL NSW/ACT Joss State Zone Trials begins on Monday. Bruce Thomas

WITH 18 players from New South Wales being added to an AFL club’s primary or rookie list over summer, it’s easy for the participants in next week’s Joss State Zone Trials to find motivation chasing their dreams.

The cream of the State’s under-18 talent will be on display at the BCU International Stadium this week with the eyes of recruiting scouts from all of the 18 AFL clubs on them.

An all-star cast is expected to be in Coffs Harbour this week with GWS Giants coach Kevin Sheedy looking on, 2005 Sydney Swans hero Nick Davis coaching the Sydney South team while the head coach of the State under-18 team Nick Stevens will also be in attendance.

On top of this, the Sydney Swans’ and GWS Giants’ recruiters will be keeping a close eye on matches to help form their recently established Academies in 2011. AFL NSW/ACT State talent manager Darren Denneman said the Joss State Zone Trials presents a unique opportunity for players and supporters. “The fascinating component of the Joss State Zone Trials is that it isn’t just limited to players,” Denneman said.

“The quality of football and the amount of talent on display truly presents an interesting spectacle the whole family can enjoy.

“With matches commencing mid-afternoon and concluding at night, there is always a time for locals to come along and watch high-class football in their own backyard.”

Denneman added that these trials for many of the players are a first look at the professionalism required to succeed at the highest level.

“These trials are set-up to prepare players for life as an AFL professional and what better way to simulate a game-day experience than by packing out Coffs Harbour International Stadium for the week,” he said.

“Without the support of the communities in and around Coffs Harbour and NSW/ACT none of these players would have the opportunity to be part of the Talented Player Program (TPP).”

The Joss State Zone Trials provides players with a rare occasion to come together to compare and compete against other AFL aspirants from around NSW and the ACT.

With access to coaching staff, conditioning personnel and video review technology, players will be given resources to give them the best opportunity to join an AFL club.