Steve Southern is forced down in a tackle.
Steve Southern is forced down in a tackle. COLIN WHELAN

Cowboys scout for future stars

ROCKHAMPTON'S young rugby league players will be pushed to their limits this weekend by the North Queensland Cowboys.

Cowboys players, Aaron Payne and Steve Southern, will take the fields at Emmaus College to help train our local rugby league players and scout out potential players for the future.

The camp is the first Cowboys Top Gun Academy camp for 2010 and will involve 40 players from 13-16 years from Central Queensland.

Recruitment manager of the Cowboys, Clint Zammit, said it is a rare opportunity and a stepping stone towards a professional career in rugby league.

Cowboys assistant coach Matt Parish, operations manager Peter Jones and development manager Dean Payne will also join Payne in Southern in the two-day camp.

“Aaron and Steve will be there and talking to the kids and be involved in the coaching – the kids will get a big buzz with such high calibre players,” Zammit said.

The camp will test the skills and development of players who were specifically chosen by the Cowboys to participate in the intense camp.

“The camp will be more advanced coaching and skill development, which they normally wouldn’t get with local coaches,” Zammit said.

“We have identified potential players that we can see going forward in the system. We will monitor them a bit further and hopefully down the track they will get a junior contract.

“And this year I made a point to go to every carnival, so that the kids that should be in the academy are.”

Zammit said locals Lucas Hetherington and Adam Kelly had played extremely well this year and had been chosen for the program.

“We will test the juniors speed-wise and strength-wise and then monitor them,” he said.

“We will give them a reflection of rugby and things they can do at home – some of these kids haven’t been exposed to anything like this before.”

Sessions will run this Saturday and Sunday and will focus essentially on testing speed, strength, endurance and flexibility.

Zammit said the young, promising players would also be able to learn from Payne and Southern when they talked about strategy and career development.

The Cowboys Top Gun Academy is also been held in Townsville, Mackay and Cairns.



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