Sharks Winter Academy ramps up

Teams from the Sharks Winter Academy enjoyed trial game hit outs recently in matches against the Bulldogs and Souths.

Involving around 120 players across the under 14's, 15's and 17's age groups, selected from performances in the local junior league as well as from trials conducted by the Sharks, the Academy Sharks put their training into practice during the recent school holidays.

The 10-week program, conducted under the guidance of Sharks Development Coach, Glenn Brailey and supported by local coaches and trainers, involved coaching in Sharks skill and performance systems.

The Academy program is designed to provide players the training and development to prepare those who will go on to be selected, for the transition into the Harold Matthews, SG Ball teams and then hopefully higher honours.

Prior to the second game against the Bulldogs, Jayden Brailey, a Sharks Academy graduate, addressed the players about his experience in the program and how it helped him get to where he is today.

Also showing the importance the Club places on the Academy program, Sharks Head Coach Shane Flanagan spoke to all the players, parents and staff about the value of the program in helping to develop and promote local talent.

The games against Souths, which was played at Erskineville Oval on July 11, then the Bulldogs the following week, revealed some outstanding talent, with Vinh Tran, Sharks Development Manager, pleased with what he saw in the series of trial matches.

"All players represented the club to a high standard and their efforts on and off the field were outstanding," Tran said. "Results were not the focus for these games, it was a chance to put into practise the skills and coaching they received in the program and to have the opportunity to don the black, white and blue jersey."

The Sharks will soon announce Matthews Cup and SG Ball trial dates ahead of the 2019 Junior Representative season.