Solid representation from Peel Thunder in the WA State Academy

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 7:44 PM

The Peel Thunder Football Development squads were well represented at the 2018 Under 16 and Under 18 W.A. State Academy jumper presentation on Tuesday night at Claremont Oval.

8 Peel Thunder players were selected in the Under 16s State Academy, with another 5 boys being selected in the State Under 18s Academy. We caught up with Peel Thunder Talent Manager John Deitz to get the latest update on the programs.

A huge result with 13 players selected in the state academy squads- how has the process worked for selection?

The Under 16s boys played their carnival over the WAFL pre-season and first 3 rounds of fixtures. A number of selectors were at all of our games and viewed all 9 clubs first hand. There was really strong communication and feedback from the selectors about our players, where they saw them fitting and full credit to our coaching group for giving all the boys in the mix an opportunity to be showcased in those positions, whilst also providing opportunity for the other players in the squad to play and show their talent which is always a difficult juggling act, but one that was done pretty well. There was a talent game in mid April which was selected from the carnival, and a squad selected from that

For the 18s the selectors obviously have a bit more history on the players in the main, but again form over the first few rounds in the colts competition was critical. Again we tried to give all the boys in the mix every opportunity to push their case, and the squad was finalised on Tuesday morning which has been a bit later than previous years as the spread of talent across the competition is fairly even this year on what we have seen so far.

Now the boys have been selected how do the programs look and when are the respective carnivals on?

The respective squads have been training for 3 weeks now at a number of venues in Perth. The 16s boys are training Tuesday and Thursday nights under the guidance of Tony Micale and his team of coaches including our Year 9 coach from 2017, Mick Glassborow. Their squad is currently at 46 but over the next few weeks they have trial games to see the boys under pressure and in positions they feel they can play at state level, before they finalise a squad that will travel to Adelaide to play South Australia on the 24th of June. The squad then goes to Queensland to play 2 games against Vic Country and Vic Metro at Metricon Stadium and the Gabba.

The 18s are training 3 nights a week at the moment. They had their final trial match last Friday against the State Country side which was a great hit out for them, and their first carnival game is on the 3rd of June v South Australia. Over the next month they will play the Vic Country and Vic Metro sides and the Allies which comprises players from the Northern States Academies (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, GWS), NT and Tasmania. It’s a massive opportunity for the boys involved to work under the likes of Peter Sumich, Glen Jakovich, Ash McGrath and our colts coach from last year Craig Otto who has taken on the midfield role in the Under 18s state academy this year.

Can you tell us a bit about the players selected in the Under 16s squad?

It’s a pretty good spread of types of players- David Yaccob (Pinjarra FC), is a hard working left footer who played across half back, inside mid and on the wing for us in the carnival. Hes generally pretty neat with his disposal and works really hard both ways as a winger. Connor Avery (Secret Harbour FC) is really strong at the contest and can win plenty of the ball as a midfielder. Hes also shown he can drift forward and kick a goal. Connor hasn’t played a lot of footy so it’s a great result for him to be selected. Isiah Winder (Eaton FC) played for us as an inside mid/half forward and is a real bull around the stoppages and has shown he can hit the scoreboard when he goes forward. Tyrell Metcalf (Mandurah Mustangs) had a really impressive carnival as a half forward. He is a talented kid who is lightly framed but has some tricks up forward. Roy George (Eaton FC) is another highly talented player who can play a number of roles through the midfield or across half back. He is really athletic and loves to run and carry. Calvin Stone (South Mandurah) is a developing key defender who had a really strong carnival. Hes had limited exposure to development footy so is still finding his way but has long arms and good closing speed which will hold him in good stead. Zac Trigwell (Donnybrook FC) is a medium forward with strong hands and a nice set shot. Zac missed a lot of the carnival with injury but came in and had huge impact kicking 5 goals in his first game back and caught the eye with the way he goes about it. And Kyle White (Waroona) is a developing ruckman who unfortunately suffered a significant knee injury in the first game but has really good scope to develop as he is competitive and really cracks in at the bounces and around the ground. Kyle is also in our colts squad so we see him as a likely prospect down the track.

And the 18s boys?

Another really promising group with Jarrad Fazioli (Eaton FC) a small forward/midfielder who has started to hit some good form over the last few weeks. Faz is only small but has good speed and shows he can hit the scoreboard when he plays forward. He has played higher up the ground this year and was really good against Perth with 22 disposals as an inside mid. Tyson Powell (Rockingham) is a 187cm utility who has been playing more through the midfield this year after playing mainly as a forward last year. He hits the ball hard and has good hands and is a pretty reliable user of the ball around the ground. Bradley Oldfield (South Mandurah) is a real competitor who has moved into the midfield and been pretty consistent this year. Brad has a real appetite for hard work and the contested ball. He has drifted forward to kick 6 goals this year which is a new element to his game and been really important for us. Jason Carter has come to us this year from Claremont and the Fremantle NGA and is a real exciting talent who plays across half back/wing and loves to run and take the game on, while James Sturrock (Baldivis) was rewarded for a really consistent start to the year with selection in the squad on Tuesday. James is a gut runner who has played mainly on a wing but the last month has played more inside and has won plenty of the ball. It is his first time in a state program so it’s a great achievement and opportunity for James.

A great result with so many boys in but are there any hard luck stories?

In any selection process there will be boys who are disappointed so no doubt a few of our boys feel a bit unlucky. The message for them is to keep working hard and just keep performing strongly over the course of the season. In terms of injuries Durak Tucker would have been a key player as a defender in the 18s squad this year but unfortunately did his ACL after round 1 so that was really disappointing for him personally, as well as our whole group as he is a great kid to have around. The way Durak has thrown himself into his rehab has been absolutely first class and a real example of resilience and professionalism for the other boys in the squad after suffering a major setback in a year he had set his whole junior footy career on.

Well done- what do the next few weeks have in store for the development programs at Peel Thunder?

It’s a big few weeks for our colts boys coming up, it’s a great time of the year with the state boys away to expose a few of our younger players to the level. Doddy and his coaching group have a really strong development focus with their approach and are doing a great job in educating the boys how we want to play. We started the year a little bit slowly but the competition is really even so theres not a lot of margin for error every week.

The 16s boys will start their preparation for Melbourne on the 11th of June. They head over to Melbourne on the 5th of July so we all look forward to that trip.

Our Under 14s and 15s will have their trial days in early July so keep an eye out for those dates over the next couple of weeks through the junior clubs, while the South West academy for our colts boys will launch on the 31st of May at Leschenault which we all have been looking forward to getting underway.

Thanks for your time and all the best to the development squads over the coming weeks.


John Deitz - Talent Manager