QRL camp juniors meet NRL heroes
Tuesday 18 December 2012 11:30 AM
Around 160 young footballers had a glimpse of what it’s like to be an NRL player when the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys visited the QRL’s Summer Camp at James Cook University in Townsville on Tuesday.
The Cowboys’ NRL squad, including co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matthew Scott, left their usual base to train in front of the youngsters, aged from 12 to 17, for around 90 minutes before signing autographs and answering questions on what it’s like to be a professional footballer.
The week-long camp, which has been running for 26 years, gives the juniors from all parts of North Queensland the chance to be trained by some of the state’s best coaches as well as meet their NRL heroes.
On Thursday, Cowboys NYC coach Todd Wilson will take his squad to the camp where their activities will include an opposed session against a 16-17 years development squad.
Some of Queensland rugby league’s best-known names have passed through the camp since it began including State of Origin representatives Matt Sing, Wendell Sailor, Jamie Goddard, John Doyle and John Butigieg.
Current Cowboys Michael Morgan, Kyle Feldt and Chris Grevsmuhl also developed their skills there as young footballers.
As well as having their two squads train at JCU while the camp is in progress, the Cowboys have a heavy involvement in the coaching of the kids with player development manager Dean Payne, recruitment manager Adrian Thomson and development officer Gavin Lloyd taking part all week.
Each day, a Camper of the Day is named with the winner receiving prizes from the Cowboys.
Running in conjunction with the camp is a level two coaching course with this year’s attendees including recently retired Cowboys hooker Aaron Payne and former Cowboys Rod Jensen and Clint Amos.
The coaches had a full day at the Cowboys HQ on Sunday where they received tuition from each member of North Queensland’s football department, including head coach Neil Henry.
The sessions included individual core skills development, principals of attack and defence, recruitment and team psychology.