Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
THE representative season is almost at an end for the junior Dolphins. The highlight was the selection of promising under 17 and Colts front-rower David Hala into what is the pinnacle of schoolboy football, the Australian Open Schoolboys team. The 24-man squad is set to tour England, France and Wales at the end of the season. Having known David since his inclusion in the 2005 Classic Sportswear Development Squad, I can safely say that his selection is a very fitting reward for a lot of hard work over the past two seasons. Not only has he worked hard at organised training sessions, he has also been keen to improve his game by working hard in his own time by himself. It is a good lesson for boys playing our game that if you want to make a career in rugby league you have to work hard, extra hard and the rewards will come. Well done David and all the very best of luck on what should be a great tour. Queensland merit teams were picked this month in the under 13 age group at the state championships at Maroochydore. Congratulations to Heymel Hunt and Luke Eustace, who were selected in the state team with Tia Pule, Redcliffe's other player at the carnival, playing some good football over the week but missing out narrowly on state selection. The coaching clinic conducted over the school holidays was a lot of fun for the 40 boys who attended from the under 12 to under 14 age group. They received coaching from QRL development officers, AFL kicking coaches, Brian Winney, Steve Peoples and myself on everything from ball handling and tackle technique to footwork, evasion and respecting the game's rules and referees. The clinic finished with a barbecue and cold drinks for all. Our last Development Squad dinner was a great night with former Dolphin first grader and Wembley Cup final winner Jamie Sandy the guest speaker. Jamie spoke to the squad about his life in rugby league, what it was like to play in front of 100,000 people in the cup final along with the more important topic of alcohol and drugs in sport. Jamie certainly had the boys thinking about making the right choices when it comes to drinking and drugs and the effects it can have on a young person's life if the wrong choices are made. The squad's main charter is to ready the boys for senior football at the highest level but the responsibility we also have is to ensure they also reach the highest level they can as a person in their society. Speakers of the calibre of Jamie Sandy make this possible. Grant Cleal Coaching and development manager