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Penrith Panthers officials in town to help juniors’ development

LEARNING FROM THE BEST: Penrith high performance manager Matt Cameron, recruitment manager Jim Jones, local development officer Dave Elvy and Group 10 junior rugby league president Martin Power with under 13s and 14s players who were part of the Penrith Panthers training program over the past three weeks. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 030216cjuniorsA LARGE contingent of talented juniors from across the Group 10 area completed a three-week pre-season schedule that allowed them to work with some of the best junior development coaches in the sport on Wednesday.
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In keeping with their commitment to the Bathurst area and its surrounds, the Penrith Panthers have been holding the clinics each Wednesday at Learmonth Park, furthering their connection to the region.

For many of the younger players being put through their paces – there were under 13/14s and under 15/16s elements to the program – it was their first proper exposure to coaching at that level.

Almost 30 players from each of the four ages were involved – or nearly 120 players in total – as well as more than 20 junior coaches from across Group 10.

Former Wests Tigers assistant coach and new Penrith high performance manager Matt Cameron was one of those sharing his knowledge of the game, while senior recruitment manager Jim Jones was another to impart some advice to the young players.

“This is the third year we’ve been doing this, which has more or less coincided with Panthers bringing an NRL game to Bathurst in each of those years,” Jones said.

“Obviously we like to be able to drum up a bit of interest in our relationship with Bathurst, but as a club which has had a lot of players come from the Central West, we do try to specifically put a lot back into this area.

“We’ve done plenty of recruitment out here in the past. Isaiah Yeo is with Penrith at the moment and came from Dubbo, for example. It is only fair that we try and put back into the local development scene.”

On the back of last year’s clinics, Penrith and Channel 9 league guru Phil Gould conducted a coaching information evening, something that could happen again in the future.

The idea behind that sort of initiative is to ensure that even when the Panthers officials are not around, the local coaches can fill the void.

“We want to make sure the boys out here have the resources to be able to send the young players the same messages that we do,” Jones said. “Basically, by this stage the local coaches are doing most of the work and as you can see today, they’re running most of it.

“They go through some skills and different drills and that sort of thing and you can see how much they enjoy it. I know at my age we never had any chances like this.

“Their attitudes are always fantastic, they’re really motivated and they are getting a grasp on our way of doing things.

“Plus they all get some Penrith gear and they seem to love getting about in it.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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