The Northern Knights TAC Cup squad for 2018 has been finalised.
With just over a week until Round One, the 48-man squad has been cut down from 78, comprising of four 19-Year-Olds, 22 top age players and 22 bottom agers.
Northern Knights’ Talent Manager Rhy Gieschen says that whilst the decision was tough to make, he believes there is a great balance of young and old players on the list.
“We had a good mix of experienced TAC Cup players who have experience at the level, including Braedyn Gillard (20 Games 2017), Joel Naylor (12 Games), Mark Baker (17 Games), Tom McKenzie (10 Games) and Brody Bell (10 Games).” Gieschen said.
“We have some bottom age players who have really developed over the last 12 months and particularly this pre-season period.”
“We expect to compete strongly in every game we play, respect the opposition and to continue to learn and develop from every week we have in the TAC Cup competition.”
With all the energy and commitment put into the training camps and pre-season training sessions, Gieschen says it’s “really rewarding” telling a player that he has made the squad.
“We strongly believe that every player on the list has truly earned their spot.” He said.
“That’s why pre-season is so exciting, if you buy in and trust then good things will happen.”
“Several players who have been through the program in previous years and missed out as an u15, u16 or last year as a bottom age player have worked really hard on their game and made their way into the squad. They are the most pleasing stories to come out of the program.”
Whilst it’s an exciting time for boys who have made the squad, and round one selection around the corner, the hard work cannot end here.
“It’s one thing to make the squad but it’s another to continue to train strongly, earn a spot in the team and contribute strongly when given your opportunity.” Gieschen said.
With the large amounts of hard work and effort put in over the off-season, Gieschen admits that one of the “extremely difficult” challenges was to cut boys from the list.
“Over time you grow to become quite close with the kids, particularly with how much they care about the program and the enthusiasm they have for the game.” He said.
“It’s always extremely difficult to tell 25 quality young men that they will miss out on an opportunity that they have worked so hard for, however we are confident that the process was managed extremely well and that these players felt respected and still a part of the Knights community.”
Gieschen also hopes that, whilst disappointed, the boys have still taken away a lot from the program, including improved skills and lifelong friends. And, for the bottom age players insists that the opportunity isn’t over.
“We would love to see them contribute really strongly to local and school football and continue to improve their game.” Gieschen said.
“It’s exciting to continue to track the bottom age players who missed out on the final squad. Some of which will still have the opportunity to re-enter the squad if their local form warrants.”
The Captain and leadership group will be announced at the club’s official 2018 Guernsey Presentation Night on Monday night, along with player jumper numbers.
Official 2018 Northern Knights TAC Cup List:
|First Name||Last Name||Date of Birth||Local Club|
|Mark||Baker||22/02/1999||Whitefriars Old Collegians|
|Jackson||Davies||19/03/2001||St Mary’s JFC|
|Joshua||D’Intinosante||7/07/2001||South Morang JFC|
|Nicholas||Kitchell||13/01/2001||Diamond Creek JFC|
|Jye||Murphy||30/10/2001||St Mary’s JFC|
|Sam||Philp||4/08/2001||St Mary’s JFC|
|Lachlan||Potter||26/01/2001||South Morang JFC|
|Ryan||Sturgess||16/11/2001||St Mary’s JFC|
|Cameron||Wild||28/11/2001||Diamond Creek JFC|