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GIANTS Punt on Troubled Teens

Ryan Miller  October 3, 2017 2:54 PM

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GIANTS rookie Jake Stein and GIANTS Academy Director John Quinn with Cobham Juvenile Justice Centre inmates.

They know the whole idea is to give them exposure to play the game and if they are good enough they can go all the way through.

The GIANTS continue to strengthen ties with communities across Western Sydney with the club running a talent search at Cobham Juvenile Justice Centre in Werrington.

Through the GIANTS Academy program, GIANTS staff are running weekly training sessions with the young inmates who could one day represent the club. 

Led by GIANTS Academy Director John Quinn, the program was intended to get inmates interested in sport but it soon uncovered a group of young men with incredible athletic potential.

Each visit sees Quinn and his academy staff run drills and test the inmates’ football and athletic abilities with a spot at the GIANTS Academy up for grabs. 

A recent visit saw Penrith product and GIANTS defender Jake Stein pass on some of his knowledge to the teenagers. 

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Quinn told the Sunday Telegraph he has “absolutely no doubt” one of them could make the leap to play AFL. 

“There is more talent here than we have got anywhere else,” Quinn told the Sunday Telegraph.

“They know the whole idea is to give them exposure to play the game and if they are good enough they can go all the way through.”

Quinn said while there is potential for one of the young men to play football, the program is also aimed at giving them some focus once they are released. 

“From a GIANTS point of view, if one of these boys can come in and help us over the next few years to play better football then that is a great win for us,” he said. 

“But I think it is also very important that the GIANTS are not just a football team, we are part of the community and engage in the community.”

Quinn hopes to see the program expand to other Juvenile Justice Centres at Campbelltown and Dubbo in the near future.