Eight Coffs players in Heat squads
NO longer is it simply a case of the Newcastle and Central Coast AFL players dominating Northern Heat squads – the Coffs Coast boys are quickly catching up.
This year’s under-15 and under-16 Northern Heat teams, which cover almost everything north of the Central Coast in NSW, boast a total of eight local players.
The under-16s have the largest Coffs Harbour contingent, with six players named including the North Coffs trio of Nick Bailey, Brendan Norton and Nathan Harris, as well as Angus Burkitt, Keiran Tomalin and Patrick Gillingham, who all play for Sawtell/Toormina.
North Coffs have another representative in the under-15s in Cody Papley, while Damien Attwood from the Coffs Swans will join him.
The Northern Heat teams will now compete against the state’s other zone teams in Sydney from April 12 to 16 in front of state selectors.
The depth of local selections reveals a continuing trend of an increase in the number of talented players in the region as a result of the growth in overall AFL participants.
Using Coffs Harbour coaches Peter Chadwick and Darren Funston has also been instrumental in preparing players for the trials.
With the Sydney Swans introducing their new Academy and all AFL clubs having one final chance to sign two NSW players under the NSW Scholarship Scheme, there will be plenty of interested eyes looking at the Heat.