What's new
The Front Row Forums

Register a free account today to become a member of the world's largest Rugby League discussion forum! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

WT’s Pathways

Tigerm

First Grade
Messages
9,596
 

Mario chalmers

Juniors
Messages
581
if these pathways were being taken seriously we'd know who our development players for next year are already.

We've seen Mavoni walk out the door this week. I look forward to hearing that someone talented like Logen Dillon is signed up elswhere soon. :(
 

Tigerm

First Grade
Messages
9,596
if these pathways were being taken seriously we'd know who our development players for next year are already.

We've seen Mavoni walk out the door this week. I look forward to hearing that someone talented like Logen Dillon is signed up elswhere soon. :(
I don't think Sheens is here yet? So I don't know who is running it atm, though Kimorley and the cricket guy (his name escapes me) I assume are here? Though I would suspect Hartigan might oversee it as well?

Dillon is a good one, I believe, so hope we get it done?
 

stryker

First Grade
Messages
5,277
This all comes under Hartigan’s banner currently.
One good thing about Sheens coming is that this bloke will be under proper scrutiny. He has failed so far by my reckoning.
 

Vic Mackey

Referee
Messages
24,749
if these pathways were being taken seriously we'd know who our development players for next year are already.

We've seen Mavoni walk out the door this week. I look forward to hearing that someone talented like Logen Dillon is signed up elswhere soon. :(

Mavonis no loss mate. He makes like 4 hit ups a game and then stands there with hands on hips. Ordinary hands, bad defender, horrible motor and has also had off field issues. The Flegg team has a number of good props, he would be 3rd or 4th rated.

Dillons an interesting one, I can see him going either way. That small stature makes it’s hard to excel in first grade. He could be a Papenhuyzen or he could be a Jake Mullaney. Either way id like to see the club persist with him, we don’t have another backup fullback in the NRL squad With Mbye leaving.

totally agree we need to know who is signed for Development co tracts next year. We had a Flegg side go 13 rounds undefeated yet the state of 90% of their contracts is unknown

Israel Ogden should be upgraded to the top 30 for next year, hoping the club is on top of it. The others Development or nsw cup

Ive highlight who i would keep:


  1. Logen Dillon
  2. Liam Scolari
  3. Timanu Alexander
  4. Iverson Fuatimau - has a contract for next year but unsure if development
  5. William Kei - is a development player this year, unsure of status next year. I don’t rate him either way
  6. Ben Stevanovic
  7. Kade Hill
  8. Mavoni Tuifua - signed with Dogs
  9. Rua Ngatikaura
  10. Etuale Lui
  11. Brandon Webster-Mansfield
  12. Eli Morgan
  13. Aden Perry
Interchange:
14. Tyler Field
15. Brandon Tumeth
16. Elifasa Leilua
17. Logan Muir

Plus these guys who were playing up in nsw cup when it ended
18. Fonua Pole (prop)
19. Israel Ogden (outside back)
20. Sione Tupou (prop)
21. Austin Dias
22. Daniel Sykes

Then there Micky Tamous who was probably the star of the side (hooker/half) who did his ACL in the first trial game this year. Trained with NRL in the pre season and impressed.
 

Vic Mackey

Referee
Messages
24,749
Apparently Logen Dillon has a Top 30 offer from another club, haven’t heard who, he wants to stay with us and is waiting on the club.
 
Last edited:
Messages
3,251
As you are no doubt aware Vic, the junior aged teams are a very cut-throat environment, parents get excited and start pushing their boys with their club contacts in the Harold Matthews, some kids stand out after realising other kids from other leagues are sometime, better than them.

Then they get to year 12, some kids think no more football, some think, year I'll see how I go. The Flegg was good when it was U 19's - now because it's U21's the senior clubs lose too many players waiting from leaving school and 'making it'. It's where it starts and ends that's an issue, small comp at the start of the year, guys have started work and sometimes just their hearts are not in it.

I recall looking at the NYC team that Noddy coached (when it was announced that he was joining the Tigers at the end of this year) to see if anyone actually kicked on, from that squad only Bayley Siro, Jeremy Marshall-King & Jabob Liddle are what you'd call regular 1st graders, Esan Marsters has regressed and Te Maire Martin is still doing ok in the Superleague. I really hope that Noddy & Sheens can spot the good ones from Harold Matthews through to Flegg and get them to grade.

As an aside, I looked at the 2 junior rugby league districts as well as group 6 juniors and seniors - 38 junior clubs + senior clubs in group 6 is not a bad number.

West Tigers Macarthur District Junior Rugby League

All Saints Liverpool JRLFC – Liverpool
Campbelltown City Kangaroos – St Andrews
Campbelltown Collegians JRLFC – Bradbury
Campbelltown Warriors JRLFC – Ruse
Eagle Vale St Andrews JRLFC – Eschol Park
East Campbelltown Eagles JRLFC – Campbelltown
Glenquarie All Stars JRLFC – Glenfield
Hinchinbrook Hornets JRLFC – Green Valley
Ingleburn RSL Tigers JRLFC – Ingleburn
Liverpool Catholic Club Raiders JRLFC - Prestons
Minto Cobras JRLFC – Minto
Macarthur Saints JRLFC – St Helens Park

The above does not include a famous school in the area, being St Gregory’s College.

Balmain District Junior Rugby League
Carlingford Cougars – Carlingford
Concord Burwood Wolves - Burwood
Dundas Shamrocks - Dundas
Enfield Federals - Belfield
Five Dock RSL – Five Dock
Glebe RLFC - Glebe
Holy Cross Rhinos - Ryde
Leichhardt Juniors - Rozelle
Leichhardt Wanderers - Leichhardt
North Ryde Hawks – North Ryde &
Ryde Eastwood Hawks Combined RLFC
Strathfield Raiders – Strathfield

Group 6 Junior Clubs
Appin Dogs
Bargo Bunnies
Bowral Kookaburras
Camden Rams
Mittagong Lion
Moss Vale Dragons
Mount Annan-Currans Hill Knights
Narellan Jets
Oran Park Gregory Hills Chargers
Picton Magpies
Robertson Spuddies
The Oaks JRLFC
Thirlmere-Tahmoor Roosters
Warragamba Wombats

Group 6 Senior Clubs

Appin Dogs
Camden Rams
Campbelltown City Kangaroos – St Andrews
Highlands Storm – Moss Vale
Mittagong Lions
Mt Annan Knights
Narellan Jets
Oakdale Workers Bears
Oran Park Gregory Hill Chargers
Picton Magpies
South West Goannas - Camden
The Oaks Tigers
Thirlmere – Tahmoor Roosters
Warragamba Wombats
 

Tigerm

First Grade
Messages
9,596
Just thinking about our pathways program, we seem to finally abandoned the idea of producing a team of superstars from the junior ranks? Though credit that they are still working on it.

But looking back, we have had some very good players come through but just couldn’t keep them or recognise there talents: Teddy, Woods, Moses, JAC to name a few.

It was only a few seasons ago that they won the reserve grade comp, but not much has come from that.
It just doesn’t seem that too many are coming through anymore and they seem to be spending a lot more time and money on this?

While we have finally went to market and brought good players (thank heavens) it is always good to see juniors come through to the top.

TBH, I don’t follow it as much as I should, but does anyone know of any players who might be the next superstar?
 

Fordy20

Juniors
Messages
2,192
Taylor is pretty much the reason all those blokes left. JAC came from the Sharks and despite MCK and JAC forming a great edge in NSW Cup, Taylor persisted with blokes like Naiqama and Rankin, who were pretty poor.

Tedesco was always going to leave once Potter was sacked. He was already out the door when he signed with the Raiders, but Farah talked him into staying and building something under Potter, who was subsequently let go by the board.

They then installed Taylor who famously bullied Farah out and we only just now getting a decent hooker to replace him. There was no way Tedesco was going to stick around after seeing how the club had no plan and how they rewarded loyalty. Moses and Woods came to the same conclusion and also moved on. Also, the club thinking we could hold onto Tedesco is the reason why we couldn’t keep our next big star Papenhuyzen.

The club has held onto a few juniors like Nofo and Brooks, but misses like Tatola and Illias come to mind as well.

I’m not really tracking the juniors at the moment, so I’m not sure who our next big thing is. Don’t really want to get my hopes when they mostly seem to fly the coup anyway
 
Messages
11,206
Just thinking about our pathways program, we seem to finally abandoned the idea of producing a team of superstars from the junior ranks? Though credit that they are still working on it.

But looking back, we have had some very good players come through but just couldn’t keep them or recognise there talents: Teddy, Woods, Moses, JAC to name a few.

It was only a few seasons ago that they won the reserve grade comp, but not much has come from that.
It just doesn’t seem that too many are coming through anymore and they seem to be spending a lot more time and money on this?

While we have finally went to market and brought good players (thank heavens) it is always good to see juniors come through to the top.

TBH, I don’t follow it as much as I should, but does anyone know of any players who might be the next superstar?
Hey mate
Im a big Warriors fan but im involved in the Wests Junior Comp in Campbelltown. I do a bit for the Clubs juniors but have an ear to the ground and have watched heaps of Wests this year in Harold Matts and SG Ball.

I was asked recently how the NRL could payback the Warriors for them helping keep the comp going during covid. Here is a a bit i wrote on the Warriors forum




I have been and are still involved in junior Footy here in South West Sydney for the last 3-4 years. In the Wests Tigers District. This season ive done a bit of work for the Wests Juniors (club teams not reps) so ive seen 1st hand how important it is to have good systems in place to get good development in Juniors.

With the Warriors having a SG ball side (U19s) entered is 10000000000% a step in the right direction. This is the just the start. They need to get a Harold Matthews team (U17s) over here as well. With those 2 sides as well as a Jersey Flegg side (U21s) then the Warriors will have a hardened experianced Junior system which we will see the fruits in about 4-5 years.

For an example the Tigers have the following rep sides in

Andrew Johns Cup U16s
- They play in a 10 team competition against regional NSW Rep sides. I watched all of the Tigers 16s games. The team is mostly Pacific Island/Kiwi boys with a lot of strength and Power. Most of the other sides are predominantly Aussie kids. Tall and a bit lanky but have excellent tackle techniques and line runners. The Tigers had a squad of around 25-26 players with 17 suiting up for gameday plus an 18th man and a 19th and 20th man on standby. The other members of the squad that were not required on gameday were sent out to Penrith who had a similar setup where they had an U16 emerging players team (forget what it was called) where they played some Country NSW teams and had an agreement to take the squad members from the Tigers 16s that were not named but would get them game time somewhere else. So every player played every week.

Harold Matthews U17s
- They were called the Western Suburbs Magpies as Balmain Tigers also had a Harold Matts side. This Comp is unbelievable. The talent, the footy IQ, the skill, the size, the block runners, the speed everything about these kids is unreal because they are after all just kids. They all go to School. I watched about 8 rounds of the Magpies Harold Matts team. They won the Grand Final and went through the Comp undefeated. This is the future of Wests Tigers BUT NOT FOR ANOTHER 5-6 YEARS!!!!

Laurie Daley Cup U18s
- Exactly the same as AJ U16s. They play the same teams and travel with the 16s. The only difference is they have a smaller squad and dont farm out players that dont play on Gameday. Sometimes the kids that dont get picked for Harold Matts will play for the 18s.

SG Ball U19s
- Same as Harold Matts. Again the talent in the SG Ball sides from every club is next level. This year the Magpies team struggled as they are a younger team. They only won 2 drew 2 and lost 4. The majority of that team was in the Magpies Harold Matts team last season. So the expectations were for them to get a taste for the faster and bigger opponants they would face then push for top 4 next season.

Jersey Flegg U21s

- Struggled as well as they were the young after playing U19s last season

So with all of these teams they had trials on the 8th October. Teams were picked a week later on the 14th with training starting 2 days later on the 16th. I went to the trials last year and to a couple of the trainings and they are high intensity, skill focused where they held accountable for the littlest indiscretions. From now till the new year its fitness and skills with no contact. They will get tested after the Xmas break and the expectations are they will have to have maintained a good level of fitness and strength. After that its maintaining the fitness then ripping into the contact and getting the moves right for the 1st game in February. This year i seen a young kid who was a Prop. Probably the best prop in the U16s Grade for club footy. Would always make great metres and just folded kids in defence but couldnt meet the fitness standards required. Great kid to. The only fault id give the Tigers is that i didnt see any kind of mentors around for those side of things. A young Polynesian Kid from a big family who kills it on the field but eats big meals at home, no time to do extras as he has to look after younger siblings etc. Those mentors are critical for our young Polynesian players close to being in the frame for a professional career. But on game days i seen Benji, Kimmorley, Madge McGuire, Tamou down there watching and talking to the young boys. Keeping them composed but reminding them of their jobs that they had to do. When i watched them play Balmain, Paul Sironan was the Mentor for them. Sheesh he is massive but he had such an aura around the Balmain kids. 2 of them were laughing a little to loud and he just went over and said make sure you maintain your fluid levels and keep going to the toilet lol. And they did. Just kept drinking their water and started focusing again.

All my life in Christchurch and now in Sydney ive seen 100s and 100s of juniors running around. But in the last 12 months ive seen so many in the Tigers set up that going to go all the way. The kids out here are unbelievable. Ive watched a bit of junior footy in the Bulldogs District where they have lost a lot of juniors for whatever reasons and seem to be rebuilding their Junior resources. Parramatta Juniors last year only had 3 teams in their U15 Gold comp. (instead of having A and B grades NSWRL have Gold Silver and Bronze) So they came and played out here in the Tigers Comp for a couple of weeks before Covid shut down everything and their teams were really really good. However only having 3 Gold teams is a concern. Dragons Juniors system seems to be a step below as well but they have the advantage like Wests that they amalgamate with Illawarra for Senior Footy.

Penrith District are just on a whole different level. They are the cream of the crop. Watched their SG Ball team play a couple of games. WOW. I read an article a couple of seasons ago where they had 72 Girls only teams across their Juniors.

The last couple of years Wests have really invested in their Juniors and are relying on local juniors to develop and keep on developing. I think there was only 1 from the Harold Matts team that wasnt a local. It showed to when he played a couple of games.

The Warriors could use the Tigers blue print as a set up of where they need to be going forward. But the Warriors need some huge mentors. Some big name figures that can keep the kids grounded and focused

The down side to this is Footy is not fun anymore for these kids.

Training 3 days a week in the middle of summer. Having to turn up no matter what. If you have an injury to your arm or shoulder then you are racking up the kms on the bike, if you have a sore leg then you are doing upper body workouts. Most of the Harold Matts team are contracted. I know 3 or 4 from the U16s had contracts to the tigers as well. Most are for 5k. The top kids in Harold Matts maybe around 12-15k. That is mostly to cover MRIs or Physio visits etc. The top kids taste a huge amount of footy for the year, for example and ill name 2 of the best in Wests Harold Matts team from 2022 Kit Laualiili and Jordan Miller.

They came back from Xmas and New Year in 2022 and straight into training for the Harold Matts 2022 campaign. Their first game was 5th Feb. Their Grand Final was 30th April. They then have to be medically cleared to be released back to their clubs which have already started their seasons. Their Grand Final was 4th September. During the year they played for their School teams in the NSW Combined Schools Comp which is a midweek comp consisting of about 6 games. Then semi and Final. Also during the year they have the NSW zoned comp for Schools so there is another 4-5 games. At the end of that they were facing selection for the Australian Schoolboys tour of Fiji but i dont think they made it. On the 2nd of October Kit played for NSW Fiji U18s against NSW Maori U18. a week after that he had trials for Wests SG Ball team which he sat out as he is already contracted. From there he has been training for the 2023 campaign.

Thats 52 weeks of footy. Im sure he had a week off here and there but hes just turned 17 and he has footy every week of the year. Can the Warriors drum these work ethics into our kids in Auckland????

Thats the 64 million dollar question
 

Tigerm

First Grade
Messages
9,596
Hey mate
Im a big Warriors fan but im involved in the Wests Junior Comp in Campbelltown. I do a bit for the Clubs juniors but have an ear to the ground and have watched heaps of Wests this year in Harold Matts and SG Ball.

I was asked recently how the NRL could payback the Warriors for them helping keep the comp going during covid. Here is a a bit i wrote on the Warriors forum




I have been and are still involved in junior Footy here in South West Sydney for the last 3-4 years. In the Wests Tigers District. This season ive done a bit of work for the Wests Juniors (club teams not reps) so ive seen 1st hand how important it is to have good systems in place to get good development in Juniors.

With the Warriors having a SG ball side (U19s) entered is 10000000000% a step in the right direction. This is the just the start. They need to get a Harold Matthews team (U17s) over here as well. With those 2 sides as well as a Jersey Flegg side (U21s) then the Warriors will have a hardened experianced Junior system which we will see the fruits in about 4-5 years.

For an example the Tigers have the following rep sides in

Andrew Johns Cup U16s
- They play in a 10 team competition against regional NSW Rep sides. I watched all of the Tigers 16s games. The team is mostly Pacific Island/Kiwi boys with a lot of strength and Power. Most of the other sides are predominantly Aussie kids. Tall and a bit lanky but have excellent tackle techniques and line runners. The Tigers had a squad of around 25-26 players with 17 suiting up for gameday plus an 18th man and a 19th and 20th man on standby. The other members of the squad that were not required on gameday were sent out to Penrith who had a similar setup where they had an U16 emerging players team (forget what it was called) where they played some Country NSW teams and had an agreement to take the squad members from the Tigers 16s that were not named but would get them game time somewhere else. So every player played every week.

Harold Matthews U17s
- They were called the Western Suburbs Magpies as Balmain Tigers also had a Harold Matts side. This Comp is unbelievable. The talent, the footy IQ, the skill, the size, the block runners, the speed everything about these kids is unreal because they are after all just kids. They all go to School. I watched about 8 rounds of the Magpies Harold Matts team. They won the Grand Final and went through the Comp undefeated. This is the future of Wests Tigers BUT NOT FOR ANOTHER 5-6 YEARS!!!!

Laurie Daley Cup U18s
- Exactly the same as AJ U16s. They play the same teams and travel with the 16s. The only difference is they have a smaller squad and dont farm out players that dont play on Gameday. Sometimes the kids that dont get picked for Harold Matts will play for the 18s.

SG Ball U19s
- Same as Harold Matts. Again the talent in the SG Ball sides from every club is next level. This year the Magpies team struggled as they are a younger team. They only won 2 drew 2 and lost 4. The majority of that team was in the Magpies Harold Matts team last season. So the expectations were for them to get a taste for the faster and bigger opponants they would face then push for top 4 next season.

Jersey Flegg U21s

- Struggled as well as they were the young after playing U19s last season

So with all of these teams they had trials on the 8th October. Teams were picked a week later on the 14th with training starting 2 days later on the 16th. I went to the trials last year and to a couple of the trainings and they are high intensity, skill focused where they held accountable for the littlest indiscretions. From now till the new year its fitness and skills with no contact. They will get tested after the Xmas break and the expectations are they will have to have maintained a good level of fitness and strength. After that its maintaining the fitness then ripping into the contact and getting the moves right for the 1st game in February. This year i seen a young kid who was a Prop. Probably the best prop in the U16s Grade for club footy. Would always make great metres and just folded kids in defence but couldnt meet the fitness standards required. Great kid to. The only fault id give the Tigers is that i didnt see any kind of mentors around for those side of things. A young Polynesian Kid from a big family who kills it on the field but eats big meals at home, no time to do extras as he has to look after younger siblings etc. Those mentors are critical for our young Polynesian players close to being in the frame for a professional career. But on game days i seen Benji, Kimmorley, Madge McGuire, Tamou down there watching and talking to the young boys. Keeping them composed but reminding them of their jobs that they had to do. When i watched them play Balmain, Paul Sironan was the Mentor for them. Sheesh he is massive but he had such an aura around the Balmain kids. 2 of them were laughing a little to loud and he just went over and said make sure you maintain your fluid levels and keep going to the toilet lol. And they did. Just kept drinking their water and started focusing again.

All my life in Christchurch and now in Sydney ive seen 100s and 100s of juniors running around. But in the last 12 months ive seen so many in the Tigers set up that going to go all the way. The kids out here are unbelievable. Ive watched a bit of junior footy in the Bulldogs District where they have lost a lot of juniors for whatever reasons and seem to be rebuilding their Junior resources. Parramatta Juniors last year only had 3 teams in their U15 Gold comp. (instead of having A and B grades NSWRL have Gold Silver and Bronze) So they came and played out here in the Tigers Comp for a couple of weeks before Covid shut down everything and their teams were really really good. However only having 3 Gold teams is a concern. Dragons Juniors system seems to be a step below as well but they have the advantage like Wests that they amalgamate with Illawarra for Senior Footy.

Penrith District are just on a whole different level. They are the cream of the crop. Watched their SG Ball team play a couple of games. WOW. I read an article a couple of seasons ago where they had 72 Girls only teams across their Juniors.

The last couple of years Wests have really invested in their Juniors and are relying on local juniors to develop and keep on developing. I think there was only 1 from the Harold Matts team that wasnt a local. It showed to when he played a couple of games.

The Warriors could use the Tigers blue print as a set up of where they need to be going forward. But the Warriors need some huge mentors. Some big name figures that can keep the kids grounded and focused

The down side to this is Footy is not fun anymore for these kids.

Training 3 days a week in the middle of summer. Having to turn up no matter what. If you have an injury to your arm or shoulder then you are racking up the kms on the bike, if you have a sore leg then you are doing upper body workouts. Most of the Harold Matts team are contracted. I know 3 or 4 from the U16s had contracts to the tigers as well. Most are for 5k. The top kids in Harold Matts maybe around 12-15k. That is mostly to cover MRIs or Physio visits etc. The top kids taste a huge amount of footy for the year, for example and ill name 2 of the best in Wests Harold Matts team from 2022 Kit Laualiili and Jordan Miller.

They came back from Xmas and New Year in 2022 and straight into training for the Harold Matts 2022 campaign. Their first game was 5th Feb. Their Grand Final was 30th April. They then have to be medically cleared to be released back to their clubs which have already started their seasons. Their Grand Final was 4th September. During the year they played for their School teams in the NSW Combined Schools Comp which is a midweek comp consisting of about 6 games. Then semi and Final. Also during the year they have the NSW zoned comp for Schools so there is another 4-5 games. At the end of that they were facing selection for the Australian Schoolboys tour of Fiji but i dont think they made it. On the 2nd of October Kit played for NSW Fiji U18s against NSW Maori U18. a week after that he had trials for Wests SG Ball team which he sat out as he is already contracted. From there he has been training for the 2023 campaign.

Thats 52 weeks of footy. Im sure he had a week off here and there but hes just turned 17 and he has footy every week of the year. Can the Warriors drum these work ethics into our kids in Auckland????

Thats the 64 million dollar question
Great post, thanks for doing so.

I just hope we can keep who they want to keep?
 

Tigerm

First Grade
Messages
9,596
Hey mate
Im a big Warriors fan but im involved in the Wests Junior Comp in Campbelltown. I do a bit for the Clubs juniors but have an ear to the ground and have watched heaps of Wests this year in Harold Matts and SG Ball.

I was asked recently how the NRL could payback the Warriors for them helping keep the comp going during covid. Here is a a bit i wrote on the Warriors forum




I have been and are still involved in junior Footy here in South West Sydney for the last 3-4 years. In the Wests Tigers District. This season ive done a bit of work for the Wests Juniors (club teams not reps) so ive seen 1st hand how important it is to have good systems in place to get good development in Juniors.

With the Warriors having a SG ball side (U19s) entered is 10000000000% a step in the right direction. This is the just the start. They need to get a Harold Matthews team (U17s) over here as well. With those 2 sides as well as a Jersey Flegg side (U21s) then the Warriors will have a hardened experianced Junior system which we will see the fruits in about 4-5 years.

For an example the Tigers have the following rep sides in

Andrew Johns Cup U16s
- They play in a 10 team competition against regional NSW Rep sides. I watched all of the Tigers 16s games. The team is mostly Pacific Island/Kiwi boys with a lot of strength and Power. Most of the other sides are predominantly Aussie kids. Tall and a bit lanky but have excellent tackle techniques and line runners. The Tigers had a squad of around 25-26 players with 17 suiting up for gameday plus an 18th man and a 19th and 20th man on standby. The other members of the squad that were not required on gameday were sent out to Penrith who had a similar setup where they had an U16 emerging players team (forget what it was called) where they played some Country NSW teams and had an agreement to take the squad members from the Tigers 16s that were not named but would get them game time somewhere else. So every player played every week.

Harold Matthews U17s
- They were called the Western Suburbs Magpies as Balmain Tigers also had a Harold Matts side. This Comp is unbelievable. The talent, the footy IQ, the skill, the size, the block runners, the speed everything about these kids is unreal because they are after all just kids. They all go to School. I watched about 8 rounds of the Magpies Harold Matts team. They won the Grand Final and went through the Comp undefeated. This is the future of Wests Tigers BUT NOT FOR ANOTHER 5-6 YEARS!!!!

Laurie Daley Cup U18s
- Exactly the same as AJ U16s. They play the same teams and travel with the 16s. The only difference is they have a smaller squad and dont farm out players that dont play on Gameday. Sometimes the kids that dont get picked for Harold Matts will play for the 18s.

SG Ball U19s
- Same as Harold Matts. Again the talent in the SG Ball sides from every club is next level. This year the Magpies team struggled as they are a younger team. They only won 2 drew 2 and lost 4. The majority of that team was in the Magpies Harold Matts team last season. So the expectations were for them to get a taste for the faster and bigger opponants they would face then push for top 4 next season.

Jersey Flegg U21s

- Struggled as well as they were the young after playing U19s last season

So with all of these teams they had trials on the 8th October. Teams were picked a week later on the 14th with training starting 2 days later on the 16th. I went to the trials last year and to a couple of the trainings and they are high intensity, skill focused where they held accountable for the littlest indiscretions. From now till the new year its fitness and skills with no contact. They will get tested after the Xmas break and the expectations are they will have to have maintained a good level of fitness and strength. After that its maintaining the fitness then ripping into the contact and getting the moves right for the 1st game in February. This year i seen a young kid who was a Prop. Probably the best prop in the U16s Grade for club footy. Would always make great metres and just folded kids in defence but couldnt meet the fitness standards required. Great kid to. The only fault id give the Tigers is that i didnt see any kind of mentors around for those side of things. A young Polynesian Kid from a big family who kills it on the field but eats big meals at home, no time to do extras as he has to look after younger siblings etc. Those mentors are critical for our young Polynesian players close to being in the frame for a professional career. But on game days i seen Benji, Kimmorley, Madge McGuire, Tamou down there watching and talking to the young boys. Keeping them composed but reminding them of their jobs that they had to do. When i watched them play Balmain, Paul Sironan was the Mentor for them. Sheesh he is massive but he had such an aura around the Balmain kids. 2 of them were laughing a little to loud and he just went over and said make sure you maintain your fluid levels and keep going to the toilet lol. And they did. Just kept drinking their water and started focusing again.

All my life in Christchurch and now in Sydney ive seen 100s and 100s of juniors running around. But in the last 12 months ive seen so many in the Tigers set up that going to go all the way. The kids out here are unbelievable. Ive watched a bit of junior footy in the Bulldogs District where they have lost a lot of juniors for whatever reasons and seem to be rebuilding their Junior resources. Parramatta Juniors last year only had 3 teams in their U15 Gold comp. (instead of having A and B grades NSWRL have Gold Silver and Bronze) So they came and played out here in the Tigers Comp for a couple of weeks before Covid shut down everything and their teams were really really good. However only having 3 Gold teams is a concern. Dragons Juniors system seems to be a step below as well but they have the advantage like Wests that they amalgamate with Illawarra for Senior Footy.

Penrith District are just on a whole different level. They are the cream of the crop. Watched their SG Ball team play a couple of games. WOW. I read an article a couple of seasons ago where they had 72 Girls only teams across their Juniors.

The last couple of years Wests have really invested in their Juniors and are relying on local juniors to develop and keep on developing. I think there was only 1 from the Harold Matts team that wasnt a local. It showed to when he played a couple of games.

The Warriors could use the Tigers blue print as a set up of where they need to be going forward. But the Warriors need some huge mentors. Some big name figures that can keep the kids grounded and focused

The down side to this is Footy is not fun anymore for these kids.

Training 3 days a week in the middle of summer. Having to turn up no matter what. If you have an injury to your arm or shoulder then you are racking up the kms on the bike, if you have a sore leg then you are doing upper body workouts. Most of the Harold Matts team are contracted. I know 3 or 4 from the U16s had contracts to the tigers as well. Most are for 5k. The top kids in Harold Matts maybe around 12-15k. That is mostly to cover MRIs or Physio visits etc. The top kids taste a huge amount of footy for the year, for example and ill name 2 of the best in Wests Harold Matts team from 2022 Kit Laualiili and Jordan Miller.

They came back from Xmas and New Year in 2022 and straight into training for the Harold Matts 2022 campaign. Their first game was 5th Feb. Their Grand Final was 30th April. They then have to be medically cleared to be released back to their clubs which have already started their seasons. Their Grand Final was 4th September. During the year they played for their School teams in the NSW Combined Schools Comp which is a midweek comp consisting of about 6 games. Then semi and Final. Also during the year they have the NSW zoned comp for Schools so there is another 4-5 games. At the end of that they were facing selection for the Australian Schoolboys tour of Fiji but i dont think they made it. On the 2nd of October Kit played for NSW Fiji U18s against NSW Maori U18. a week after that he had trials for Wests SG Ball team which he sat out as he is already contracted. From there he has been training for the 2023 campaign.

Thats 52 weeks of footy. Im sure he had a week off here and there but hes just turned 17 and he has footy every week of the year. Can the Warriors drum these work ethics into our kids in Auckland????

Thats the 64 million dollar question

It's working well, by the look of it.
 
Messages
11,206
R&S . . . . that sort of common sense is welcome here anytime mate.
Thanks for sharing these insights.
Yeah all good mate

The future is very bright with The Tigers. But i stress, its the future. 4,5,6 seasons from now the clubs will see the fruits when these kids are ready. And trust me there are some dam good kids running around in the Wests Juniors
 

The Rosco

Bench
Messages
2,894
Yeah all good mate

The future is very bright with The Tigers. But i stress, its the future. 4,5,6 seasons from now the clubs will see the fruits when these kids are ready. And trust me there are some dam good kids running around in the Wests Juniors
My young bloke is 25 this year. Plays soccer now, but played footy in school. From year 3, I remembered going to some of his games and carnivals and seeing the first wave of islander kids coming through. At his local infants school, you'd look around and see increasing numbers of islanders in each lower grade. I said to a few of the dads that we're looking at the changing face of the NRL . . . right here in good old Berala public. They laughed, but I said in 15 years these guys will be the first players picked.
Yes, it IS a long process . . . and one that you don't know the success of . . . but you have to simply keep at it.
We seemed to always be approaching development this way, but the process became more defined in recent years.
Penrith of course is the great beacon to copy. I'd like to think we are only 5 or 6 years behind them.
Isn't it nice to have a conversation about how good junior sport actually is ?
 
Last edited:
Messages
11,206
Also just to elaberate a bit more on the the Tigers Juniors

They have an U12 talent ID day once a year as well. Anyone U12 can go. Just need to sign up. Once there they go through some drills and work on skill based work. All players recieve a t shirt but are evaluated and go into a data base for the following year.

Tigers also have an U13, U14 and U15 development squad. These kids are identified through the first couple of months into the season. For the U13s most have been identified the year before in the U12 Talent ID day. U14s are usually known from the season before where they have been identified in the 13s and so on and so on from U15s down. Occasionally you will get a kid who has a breakout season and they are selected into the squads.

Most club teams in my District train Tuesdays and Thursdays so the Tigers 13s 14s and 15s Development squads train Wednesdays only. They dont work on fitness at all. Its all about drills and skill sessions. The skills and drills they do are exactly the same as the U16s and Harold Matts teams do. The planning behind doing this is that when the kids end up making Harold Matts they know exactly what to do. They will know how to run Xs and Ys effectively as well as knowing when to centralise plays, when and what part of the field to do a block play and things like that. Like i said by the time they get to Harold Matts they know all the drills.

Having these kids in these development teams training every wednesday with the best Coaches alongside the best players improves their club side 1000 times over. Also all kids get to see that with some hard work and dedication the rewards are there to be had.

They play about 3-4 games during the season. This year the Tigers development teams played against the Sharks and Panthers and a Country side. I went out and watched a couple of games. The kids really stepped up and they were high paced games. Decent crowds to watch as well but just the chance to play in a rep side against playeers they have never seen before all trying to prove that they are the best kid for that position.

But its not for all kids though. We had a couple of kids from our club actually in my Sons team make the Tigers 13s side this year. They are twins and young Samoan Boys. 1 is a prop and the other a centre. Both decent players who probably deserved their selection. I went along to one of their trainings and they were pretty demoralised. Wernt enjoying it and didnt seem happy. I went to 1 of their Tigers games and they both got decent minutes and opportunities but the effort wasnt there. I had a chat to them after and they said they were ok. I spoke to their older Sisters ( they come from a big family 9 kids and include 3 sets of twins) and the Sisters said they dont like it and want to quit. I get to their club trainings and they are full of smiles and doing their trick plays because they are comfortable in the enviroment they are in. They would rather play footy with their mates and hang out after training doing tiktoks than being in rep sides being pushed and pushed.

A lost opportunity but Like i said its not appealing for everyone
 

Latest posts

Top