The Raiders High Performance team has recently returned from a successful camp on the Gold Coast and their efforts over the course of the trip has left club development staff highly enthusiastic about the future of the Green Machine.
Handpicked 16-18 year olds from across all of the Raiders development areas – Canberra, regional NSW and the Logan area in Queensland – all gathered together to further their development and test their wares against each other and rival sides in contested matches at the conclusion of the week.
It is an initiative that has been going on for a number of years and has assisted in identifying several current Raiders NRL players.
Raiders Recruitment Manager David Hamilton fondly recalls stories surrounding a young Shannon Boyd going head to head with an up and coming Josh Papalii one year.
The pair clashed ferociously throughout the game with neither taking a backward step and their promising performances resulted in the talented young forwards reuniting in the SG Ball side the following year.
This year’s group had Raiders Development Officer and Harold Matthews Coach Adam Kyle similarly impressed.
“The boys performed really well over the entire week and I’m really proud of their efforts and excited for their futures,” Kyle said.
“We threw a lot at them that they potentially hadn't seen before but they came into the camp prepared to learn and to take on as much as possible which for us as staff was really good.
“We had a mixture of boys from Canberra, Country New South Wales and Queensland and we were very impressed with the overall standard and the players’ commitment to better themselves and improve as players.
“This camp has been going for quite a few years with numerous Canberra Raiders NRL players having attended. The camp is a reward for those players selected out of our junior representative and scholarship programs. They train twice a week from May untill September with this camp the culmination of their efforts throughout the year.
“Over the course of the week we trained two times a day working hard on new structures to take forward into the 2015 season.
“The boys had fitness testing and gym programs designed for them as well. It was a really well structured camp which allowed the boys a good environment to learn, meet new players and compete against other talented players as Boyd and Papalii had done in the past.”
In the matches at the conclusion of the camp, the Raiders squad defeated Marsden State High School in the first match and were narrowly defeated by the Gold Coast in the second fixture.
Many of the players will now join the Harold Matthews (Under 16’s) and SG Ball (Under 18’s) squads for pre-season training.