The AFL North West Under 13s squad will have 10 players from Inverell and three from Glen Innes making their representation debut on Saturday in Tamworth where they'll come up against the North Coast rep side.
Under the guidance of Coach Gerry Taveira, players have been committed to training each Tuesday and Thursday since March in an endeavor to improve their skills and have fun learning the sport.
Last Sunday in Moree, they tackled a composite Tamworth side and according to the coach, they all applied themselves well.
Gerry says he's absolutely wrapped to see the kids turn up enthusiastic and learn new skills as they prepare for their biggest test in July- The Northern Representation Junior Carnival in Coffs Harbour.
He says having Kevin Pay as his assistant is tremendous. "When I asked him if he could be my assistant, he didn't hesitate. Having played VFL football (now known as the AFL) for Collingwood in the early 60s, he has the knowledge and passion to pass onto the kids which is pretty awesome when you think about it.”
Gerry says the rep team will play the North Coast in Tamworth on Saturday. It is here where they'll get an idea of how well they'll perform.
"Admittedly we not expecting to win all, if any, games but Ï've already told the players that it's not all about winning, but having fun, respecting umpires, coaches and their parents and taking something away from the experience."
There's a number of kids in their first season playing AFL and Gerry says their skills have improved enormously and is hoping they will spread the word and recruit their mates in an effort to kick off an under 14's competition next season.
Meanwhile, a keen group of Inverell Saints travelled over to Moree last Sunday for the Moree gala day.
It was a great opportunity to come and try AFL and the North/west rep trails. It was a great turn out of 120 player from Moree, Inverell, Tamworth and Gunnedah.
Players ranging from the 5-10 year old Auskers, under 14s, under 17s, youth girls, womans and mens rep teams. The North West rep teams have been selected with an impressive amount of Inverell Saints player choosen. Plus Moree representing a wide range of both men, woman and youth.
Inverell’s Ben Ellis has put his hands up to take on the under 15’s junior rep team as coach.
Ben is a seasoned player coming up through the ranks playing for the Inverell juniors moving into the men’s team and now coaching the under 15’s for this annual rep competition.
Sonia Martin coaching the youth girls team, Dick Gleeson coaching the men’s team and Ben from Tamworth coaching the women’s team.