The Slater & Gordon GIANTS Academy trials kicked off in Blacktown yesterday with 75 youngsters testing their skills.
Representatives from the 14 local government areas of Western Sydney were put through their paces in a 3km time trial and skills session.
Slater & Gordon GIANTS Academy Manager Lachlan Buszard said that the development squad had been selected from an extensive series before Christmas.
“We’ve got our Western Sydney Development squads in which is the first stage in our Academy selection,” Buszard said.
“These guys have been selected from an extensive series before Christmas and this is their first session back leading in to the Academy development series.
“They’re all from the West and will be playing the Riverina and Canberra based sides for the selection in our final Academy squad who will play against the Swans Academy later this year.”
Buszard said that the Academy program provided a clear pathway for talented young athletes in NSW in to the AFL system and also aimed to improve the standard of local football across the region.
“The Academy has been running for two years and provides a pathway to our AFL list.
“Last year two kids from our Academy program, Joey Redfern and Zach Williams made it on the rookie list and 16% of our current list comes from NSW.
“This is a fantastic start and with the help of the GIANTS and Slater & Gordon we’d like to see it continue to improve,” Buszard said.