U17 Development Squad

New developments continue to emerge at Preston City Oval with the Induction Night for the brand new Northern Knights Development Squad held at the club’s Function Room on Wednesday Night.

The squad, which will train once a week, presents talented bottom age players who have not made the final TAC Cup Squad list and other talented sportspeople that cannot commit to football full time the opportunity to gain further development and enhance their skills in preparation to be potentially listed for the 2018 TAC Cup Squad.

Whilst primarily focusing on craft and technique through specialised training sessions, the squad also aims to teach players team structures and provides external opportunities such as the chance to go into the change rooms before an AFL match, and vision analysis.

Knights’ Talent Manager Rhy Gieschen was especially pleased to commence the program.

“This is something that the club has never run before and I think it’s going to help shape our 2018 TAC Cup List, but also provide those who aren’t listed some amazing development opportunities.”

The Induction Night also had an oral participation element to it, and gave the chance for the players to meet each other in a “Getting to Know You” exercise coordinated by the Program Managers.

Players will officially hit the ovals on the 6th of April, with plans to continue one night a week throughout the football season, but Gieschen remains open to the idea that all Development Squad players are eligible to be potentially promoted to the 2017 TAC Cup Squad, which currently trains three nights a week.

“I see no reason why not, that if a player is reaching the standards in training at our Development Squad, that he shouldn’t be considered for potential selection and promoted to our current TAC Cup team.”

The squad will be coached by former Richmond coach, Jeff Gieschen and will be assisted by current Essendon player Craig Bird, along with Youth Academy Squad Coach Russell Gardner.


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