Talented young players from across the state gathered at a series of regionally-based camps this past month as part of the Queensland Rugby League’s revamped Under 18 girls performance program.
The last of the four camps wrapped up on Sunday, with the new format taking a decentralised approach to allow the QRL to touch base with an extended group of players, with 86 in total featuring the camps held in Townsville, the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
Current Queensland Under 18 Girls lead coach Ben Jeffries, who was on hand to witness the talent on show in three of the four camps, said he was pleased to see the progression of the players.
“My first impressions following the conclusion of all four regional camps was that all coaches were all very excited to see how much talent is coming through the Under 18 age group,” Jeffries said.
“There will be challenges along the way, but we’re confident that the QRL’s pathway program is going to create better quality footballers and improved individuals.”
While the girls all hold aspirations to feature in the Queensland team that will play as the curtain-raiser to the Holden State of Origin match taking place on the Sunshine Coast in June; the main aim of the Under 18 Girls regional squad format is to increase the skills of players at all levels of the game.
This will also assist those players who are selected to be involved in the upcoming QRL Women’s Premiership which will kick off in March and features teams from all three regions.
The squads will next gather in their regional groups in February, where they will continue to add to the knowledge they have gained, which they are encouraged to take back and share with their club playing group.
“The challenge for the players within the program now is to keep taking on the relevant education delivered and refining their skill sets,” Jeffries said.
“We’re confident that we’re creating an enjoyable environment, in addition to a competitive environment, where competition for places is very much evident as they strive to reach that goal of wearing a Maroons jersey in 2020.”