Tigers Youth Players Represent at Upcoming State Titles
Redcliffe Tigers James Dekker, Jarod Woods, Matthew King and Ainsley Rintala-Apps were recently selected in regional Under 14 representative teams to contest the State Championships in Maroochydore from September 29th to October 2nd.
All four players were invited by AFL Queensland to participate in the 2014/2015 Brisbane North Summer Development Program. This program helped develop and prepare the players for club, regional and state football, by improving their fitness levels, and their fundamental AFL skills. Furthermore, this gave these players the opportunity to continue the talent pathway to selection trials for their regional teams.
The boys competition sees ten regional teams, coming from as far north as Papua New Guinea and as far south as the Gold Coast region. After a disappointing end to the season, the boys are keen to have another kickout, and perform well for Moreton Bay.
James’ goals are to get more skills, to get fitter and have fun. He works on trying hard every year, and to just keep practising. Jarod says that the state champs will be a lot different to club footy, stepping up footy one more level. His main goal is to one day play at AFL level. AFL has become a big part of his life, and he has more passion. And Matthew, in his second year of the rep team, says that the very best players for the clubs will be playing, so he wants to be the best he can. He quotes, “Attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference between football success and football failure”.
The girls’ draw will see just four Queensland regions battling it out, in the championship’s inaugural year of competition – Brisbane North, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane South and Gold Coast. The AFL has a major focus on the development of female footy across the board, and the commencement of this state titles is just one of the many stepping stones.
Whilst Ainsley took a break from club footy this year, she is looking forward to getting back into it, and representing the North Brisbane Brumbies. She says she wants to gain more playing experience and gain new and improved skills. She vows to work hard to achieve her goals, and has her eye on being drafted for the women’s league in the future.
Current Under 14’s Redcliffe Tigers coach Dave ‘Jock’ McCreadie has much to say about each of these players, their playing ability and their attitudes. It's a great achievement to make representative teams and all these players deserve their opportunity. They have worked hard throughout junior football and are now starting to get rewarded for their efforts.
“This is the first year that I have coached Matt, James and Jarod. All 3 have shown a great attitude towards their football this year. It's not easy fronting up to pre-season with a new coach who has a different style and ideas, but these boys and the whole team have responded well.
“James is the type of player coaches love to have in their team. Being tall, he gives plenty of options as to where you can play him. James's willingness to develop as a player will serve him well in the future. He is one of the fairest players I have seen, always showing great sportsmanship no matter what the circumstance. He has good skills and is very strong with his overhead marking. In the ruck or at full forward one thing you know, is James will always give you 100% effort”.
“Jarod has a lot of attributes with his footy - the main one being his endurance. With AFL, one key part of the game is running. This is where Jarod does well, and he can only get better as he gets older, bigger and stronger. Jarod's skills are also very good - he kicks the ball very well with an accurate left foot and is very good with his marking. Another key component in AFL is talking, and Jarod does this very well also. It can be a difficult thing for footy players to communicate on the field and takes time to develop, but he does this easily”.
“Matt is all about footy… loves it… can't get enough. He is so competitive and physical at every contest - it's awesome to watch. One of his big attributes is being able to lift the team if their under-performing or when the game’s on the line. Matt will find something to lift them and help win the game. That alone shows how much character he has. His toughness at the ball makes it very difficult for his opponent to win the one on one contests, with a big kick and strong pair of hands. You can teach a player to be physical and hard at the contest, but that can take time depending on the individual, but with Matt it is natural which is great because it allows him to focus on other parts of his game and improve further. Matt has the ability and will to succeed at a much higher level”.
“Ainsley is the first girl that I coached, beginning at under 10's in 2012 through to 2014, and going on to train with the girls this year. For the 3 years I coached Ainsley, she was always willing to listen and learn. Ainsley has an excellent attitude towards the game and wants to improve. She has natural drive to succeed and importantly, she practices hard at her skills matching it with the boys, before joining in with the girls. Ainsley has come a long way in 4 years and it's great reward for the hard work she has put in to make this girls AFL rep team”.
“It has been great and very enjoyable to see these 4 players improve their footy and get reward for hard work and the commitment they have put in. And knowing that you have had a small part in their success to date is very rewarding as a coach too because that's what it is all about”.
Thanks Bev Rintala-Apps for putting this together.