Rooster Junior Coaches Keen For Kick Off
Friday 8 February 2013 3:31 PM
The NRL season might still be a month away; however the Red, White and Blue of the Sydney Roosters will take to the field for the first time in 2013 this weekend when our Harold Matthews and SG Ball sides kick off their season against junior league powerhouse Parramatta.
Traditionally one of the stronger outfits in the 16s and 18s age-groups, the Eels will present a sizeable challenge in the opening fixture for the junior Roosters and allow coaches Aaron McDonald (Harold Matthews) and Mark Riddell (SG Ball) a clear indication as to where their squads are at after a long pre-season.
Riddell, who returns for his second year in charge of the Under 18s, spoke with Roosters.com.au earlier in the week about the pre-season program and this weekend’s Cabramatta Sports Ground fixture.
“It’s been a long pre-season but we’ve slowly but surely brought it down from 45 potential players to the squad of 25,” he said.
A former Roosters rake himself, Riddell continued, “To be honest, we’re just looking forward to getting going. The pressure is on against Parramatta, but we’ll be able to get a good idea of where we’re at after this weekend’s match.”
McDonald, who will mentor the Under 16s squad this season, said he was “very happy with the progress” of the squad after the summer months and re-iterated Riddell’s point of this weekend being a great chance to gauge just where he and his side were at.
“The big challenge for us will be doing the simple things right this weekend. We need to put the effort in, defensively, and ensure our ball control is up to scratch.
“We’ve had a few trials and after starting with 300 players at the beginning of pre-season, we’re down to these 27-28 players and very happy with the progress of the group.”
To see the next generation of Chooks kick off their campaign, get down to Cabramatta Sports Ground this Saturday from 9.30am.