COACH Mark Wilton expects the inaugural Hunter Valley Group 21 under-23 squad will give the upcoming regional trials “a good crack”.
The new-look representative side, which boasts rugby league players from Aberdeen, Denman, Greta Branxton, Muswellbrook, Scone and Singleton, met their mentor at the first training session at McKinnon Field on Wednesday night.
And, Wilton was impressed by what he witnessed.
“I’m excited to be involved,” he said.
“More importantly, all the boys are keen to play.
“Group 21 boasts a very good squad – there is a fair bit of talent out there tonight.”
The Rams (Rohan Pottinger, Dylan Thorne, Andrew Pritchard, Lennie Craft), Colts (David and Hayden Smith, Dylan Young, Charlie Rae) and Thoroughbreds (Jarrod Wicks, Isaac and Tyler Austin, Jake Collison) each supplied four members to the line-up, with the Tigers (Cameron French, Matthew Thompson, Tyler Wolfgang) and Greyhounds (Will Nieuwenhuise, Adam Hamilton, Tom Johnson) contributing three apiece.
Devils duo Joe Adams and Isaac McCormick complete the picture.
“The boys have come through our under-16 and under-18 system, so they’re eager to make a mark,” Wilton said.
“They’re serious about representative football – and want to go to the next level.
“Playing the regional trials against Groups 4 and 19 at Armidale, on Saturday, April 29, is a good opportunity for them to stake a claim for the divisional team.”
Training is scheduled for April 17, 19, 24 and 26 at Olympic Park, Muswellbrook.
Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League under-23 representative squad: Cameron French (Aberdeen), Will Nieuwenhuise (Singleton), Tyler Wolfgang (Aberdeen), Joe Adams (Denman), Matthew Thompson (Aberdeen), David Smith (Greta Branxton), Hayden Smith (Greta Branxton), Rohan Pottinger (Muswellbrook), Jarrod Wicks (Scone), Dylan Thorne (Muswellbrook), Andrew Pritchard (Muswellbrook), Isaac McCormick (Denman), Isaac Austin (Scone), Lennie Craft (Muswellbrook), Dylan Young (Greta Branxton), Tyler Austin (Scone), Charlie Rae (Greta Branxton), Adam Hamilton (Singleton), Tom Johnson (Singleton), Jake Collison (Scone); coach Mark Wilton, managers John Gorman and Kurt Dial, sports trainer Heath Moore, League Safe Josh Schmiedel