Article By Tom Green…
With the first Youth Tournament in this year’s BAFA National Leagues in two weeks time at Cooper Park, the competition for places in the squad heated up. It was interesting to watch how the players performed in this training session after the Spring Camp earlier in the week and from a viewers perspective it had made a big difference.
32 players were practicing with an extra 4 injured players showed up to the training session to learn the playbook despite not being physically able to participate. This shows a lot of commitment as it is never pleasant to watch at the side of the field with an injury. They were all overseen by 8 coaches and 4 further staffs members.
The day started with video review for the majority players. The rest of the squad went outside with Coach Ewan Sime and Martin MacPherson to install a scout offense.
After the video review the players went through a walkthrough of the plays before going into a warm up. After the warm up the players (except the Quarterbacks) participated in paired tackling drills where heads up techniques were heavily emphasized.
After the paired tackling the players were separated into their and when this training was completed the team participated in a limited contact scrimmage. The effort shown in all these drills was fantastic.
With the competition for positions becoming tighter it has become even harder for players to stand out. However one player did through out the day and he impressed the staff on both sides of the ball. Mark Pyper has been training at a high level since the start of the combined practices of the Community League. I asked Head Coach Robbie Paulin what his thoughts were, “Mark Pyper was a stand out on both sides of the ball. With more depth this year it will hopefully allow us to use players like Mark on both sides a bit more and others like Haris Ryalls at Cornerback too.”
It is not just the players who have been working hard though and all the staff played there part in the session. Paulin continued, “I really think this is one of the best staffs that we’ve had. We’ve got a lot of depth and their knowledge is fantastic!”
Hopefully the progress in training will convert into victories.
The players were informed of the selections for the 26 April Season opener and also the Development game against the Moray Tide on 4 May. These selections will be revealed on the site later in the week.
Article By Tom Green