Valley stars on AFL pathway
AUSSIE RULES: The Clarence Valley's emerging junior AFL stocks have once again proved themselves on a representative stage with five players picked in the inaugural North Coast Academy of Sport AFL squad.
Grafton Tigers' junior Evan Whitty will be joined by teammates Georgia Breward and Lilian Doyle in the inaugural program while North Coast representative sisters Madeline and Taylah Anderson have also made the cut after recent trials at Grafton.
The program has been specifically designed to assist athletes progress to the next level within the talent pathway by supporting them with technical skill development, game sense training, fitness testing and theoretical knowledge.
NCAS executive director John Kincade said the academy was excited to have an aussie rules program up and running.
"The AFL has a well deserved reputation as one of the most professional sports in the country,” he said.
"The fact that they have chosen to partner with the academy is positive recognition of the outstanding work we have achieved over many years in talent development.”
With the introduction of a national Women's AFL competition in 2017, Kincade said it was pleasing to have female athletes recognised in the program.
The program also includes three umpires who have proven themselves officiating at a state level and will also develop their skills in the program.
AFL NSW/ACT regional manager Simon Smyth said it was a moment not to be forgotten for AFL in the region.
"This is another landmark moment for our sport on the North Coast,” he said.
"Partnering with the academy is a critically important step in enhancing our talent pathway for boys, girls and umpires.
"NCAS plays a vital role in providing local athletes with the support needed to make it to the elite level and we look forward to working with them to unearth future AFL stars.”