The Northern Pride Harvey Norman Under 19 team is a shining example of the positive results that can be achieved when a club unites around a common goal.
The team was put to the test by their opponent last weekend, facing the Townsville Blackhawks in a big “local” derby and even though the result was not the one the team had been training for , coach Flori King-Smith was proud of the performance and couldn’t fault the effort, especially in defence.
However, after her first game in charge, King-Smith noted areas she wanted to see improve for their next game and was able to call on the support of the wider club to help better prepare. his players for their next game. field challenge.
“Last night I went to see Ty (Williams – Northern Pride head coach) and asked him ‘are you playing opposition tonight?’ and he said ‘no, but what do you need help with?’ said Smith-King.
“I said ‘I just need the girls to do exercises to get them out of the fear of crossing the line’, because that’s one of the things I saw over the weekend with the girls and I really wanted to work with them on that and he said ‘I’ll come help you, I’ll get my assistant coach to run the session and I’ll come help you’.
“It’s good to have a wealth of coaching experience around me who are practical resources on the spot.”
Support for the club’s wider women’s team has also been evident throughout pre-season, with all teams meeting in one place this year for their training sessions yielding “a sea of training material. Pride”.
This spirit of unity has also helped provide development opportunities for emerging players not only from the Cairns region but beyond.
Some girls from Tully, Innisfail and Kuranda travel up to two hours to attend each training session, while the team also has three players from the Northern Peninsula and Torres Strait region.
Cousins Melissa Hosea and Elizabeth Hosea are from St Pauls (Moa), part of the western Torres Strait group of islands and Alicia Bowie is from Bamaga; and all three players were able to add their skills to the squad thanks to a wide support network.
Despite distance being a barrier to participation, Melissa is one of the players with the most ‘big game’ experience, having been part of the winning Queensland Under 17 Country Girls team last year.
Young gun Hosea from Far North Queensland soaks up the experience
“Melissa Hosea and Elizabeth are from St Pauls which is an island off the main island which is Thursday Island so to be able to get to Thursday Island you have to get on a charter flight, one of the flights and that’s not is not regular, and Alicia Bowie who is from Bamaga,” King-Smith said.
“We are connected by roads, they are connected by sea, so that’s how they move.
“Northern Pride is all the way from North Cardwell, down to Torres Strait and we want to give players opportunities in that geographic space and how we manage it is a challenge in itself.”
All three players are supported in their efforts to play by their own families who have organized families to have their daughters stay with them while they train in Cairns, as well as by Northern Pride, with the club’s Old Boys and sponsors, including Skytrans. for discounted flights.
Their attendance also wouldn’t happen without the support of their schools, with King-Smith noting the importance of players keeping their attendance records and keeping up to date with class work so they don’t miss their Queensland Certificate of Education.
Preparing the girls to be fit for the Harvey Norman Under 19 competition was also a challenge.
“Before their competition started, the satellite coaches were given training programs to do with the girls so they could do what we were doing…and as far as the competition was concerned, they came the week before. competition so we can practice with the girls,” King-Smith said.
With a few weeks of combined training and a match under their belts too, this week Pride will face Central Queensland Capras, a side who also represent a proud rugby league region, and King-Smith was looking forward to the test. to come for his players who now had the chance to create good habits.
“Absolutely, it will be a challenge. I really like it because it gets the girls to be competitive, thinking anybody can win the day, the day they’re…it makes it more competitive, I like that,” Smith said. -King.
“We talk about it, I’m talking about treating it like being professional, it’s elite level, it’s not just your everyday football stuff.
“It’s your break to take it to the next level if you want to.”
In other games this weekend, the Townsville Blackhawks will host their first game of the round against Mackay Cutters and aim high after picking up a solid win last weekend.
The Harvey Norman Under 19 match is being played as a curtain raiser to the Warriors v St George Illawarra Dragons NRL game and there will definitely be a big crowd to cheer on the girls.
The Burleigh Bears have always been strong in this competition and proved it again last week with a great victory against the Souths Logan Magpies.
The Tigers face new teams in consecutive weeks and this weekend they travel to face the Redcliffe Dolphins.
In their first game in the competition, the Dolphins went down against a talented Tweed Seagulls side and will be looking to do their best for their home fans against the Tigers who won their second round game.
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The Wynnum Manly Seagulls will play their first game of the season this weekend and are said to be eager to leave after two weeks on the sidelines.