Development Clinic a widespread success

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The Northern Blues and Northern Knights continued its commitment to the next generation of football talent in the northern corridor of Melbourne.

At RMIT University’s Bundoora campus last Thursday, the two sides ran the second annual Development Clinic for 11-15 year olds from the area.

Both the girls and boys underwent AFL Draft Combine-style testing, as well as skills sessions overlooked by current Blues players Carl Adams, Jake Bradley, Josh O’Brien and vice-captain Glenn Strachan, as well as assistant coach Perry Meka.

There was also a significant amount of education, with talks from the Knights’ Talent Manager Rhy Gieschen and captain Nick Coffield, Blues dietician Alysha Stevens, Carlton AFLW grappling coach Malcolm Bangs and ex-Knight and Northern Blue, Kane Lambert.

After what was a rigorous clinic which required an entire day out of the school holidays, Meka said the way the youngsters embraced the program made it worth their while.

“The involvement at the clinic we conducted last Thursday was fantastic: the skill level and the way the boys and girls bought into the program was terrific,” Meka said.

“There was really good help for me from our players, and I thought the way the program was run was really good. It was important that we included aspects like nutrition, which the kids at a younger age are beginning to ask questions about.

“The kids were really open-minded: to some degree, you might think there would be some kids at the back of the pack mucking around but they weren’t.

“They were asking questions constantly and the amount of parents who came up afterwards was really rewarding for the Northern Blues Football Club.”