DESPITE just one representative from 2012 colts champions Dubbo Roos making the trip, Central West under 21s coach John Hamilton saw enough promise at Sunday’s trials in Orange to point to a successful 2013 campaign.
Blowing out the cobwebs ahead of this year’s Country Week in Tamworth over two days from March 23, 31 of the region’s colts were put through an opposed session at Endeavour Oval last weekend.
Coaches Hamilton and Steve Hamson were optimistic about the talent on hand, preferring to move on from the Dubbo brushing and focus on the six-week preparation ahead for the preliminary 29-man squad selected after the trial.
“We’ve got to work with what we’ve got,” Hamilton said.
“These kids that turned up are keen to play and want to be there and that’s what we want.
“There’s definitely some potential there too. There’s always good colts from Bathurst and we had some kids straight out of school with Stannies and Kinross that aren’t really aligned with any club yet. There’s plenty to work with.”
Last year’s Blowes Clothing Cup colts runners-up Orange City were well represented with Joe Alexander, Matt Foliaki, Rob Palaki, Blake Hummerston, Jack Grant and Terry Brown all at Endeavour Oval on Sunday.
They’re in line to help the Central West Rugby Union colts outfit, that came within six points of claiming the 2012 title after going down 23-17 to Newcastle in the grand final on the Central Coast last March, atone for last year’s loss.
Hamilton said the goal 12 months on was simple.
“To try and go one better than last year,” he laughed.
“That’s virtually the aim. It’s everyone’s goal to win it all.”
He added the colts championship also acted as a professional springboard for players ambitious enough to embark on a career playing rugby union.
“It’s also a good chance to have the kids noticed by some of the powers that be in Sydney,” Hamilton said.
“Country kids don’t get a lot of opportunities in that regard so there’s that opportunity there for them now.”
The Central West colts already have trial matches against Sydney University and Canberra Royals lined up in March, but Hamilton and Hamson are also lobbying to have practice matches against Gordon and another Sydney club approved for the end of February.
“It’s quite a short preparation,” he said with just six weeks before the first match at country week in Tamworth.
“They’re only young blokes, we’ll probably get them playing as many games as possible together rather than training. They’ll learn more together that way.”
GOING HARD: Tom Nell (with ball) in action at the Central West under 21s trials at Endeavour Oval on Sunday. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0203sgrugby
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