Northern Heat set the tone for Academy squad

The Northern Heat squad came together in Armidale on Saturday for the second training session of the program where they were joined by the Northern Inland Academy of Sport (NIAS) AFL squad.

Unlike the first session in Coffs Harbour which was both hot and humid, the temperature in Armidale struggled to get above 20 degrees while a strong wind posed challenges when it came to hitting targets. Despite this, the players once again set high standards throughout the session which included intra-squad contested work, game play against the NIAS squad, and a strength and conditioning session with former Sydney Swans Sport Scientist Matt Pine.

Alan Martin, Northern Heat Coach, said that everyone was impressed by the commitment shown by the players. “Our region is enormous and we have players coming to these sessions from as far afield as Gunnedah, Port Macquarie, and Tweed Heads. The commitment they and their families show to the program just to get to training sessions is incredible and is only topped by the commitment and attitude they display throughout each training session.”

“It’s such a pleasure to be involved with players who want to work hard and enjoy themselves. The NIAS group learnt a lot from training with them and will be striving hard to make the Heat program in the future.”

The Northern Heat program will break until the new year but players will be working individually on the strength and conditioning programs they received from Matt Pine.

The squad will train again in early February ahead of a match against a Gold Coast Colts team in March.

The Northern Heat squad is:

Joel Ashby (Grafton Tigers)
Kade Bagnall (Grafton Tigers)
Hayden Baker (Gunnedah Bulldogs)
Jack Barwick (Byron/Coolangatta)
Jake Benson (Coffs Breakers)
Coen Chambers (Coffs Breakers)
Morgan Dunn (Walcha/New England Nomads)
Liam Fitzpatrick (Casino/Lismore Swans)
Ed George (Tamworth Swans)
Ben Gibbeson (Coffs Breakers)
Charlie Goodlet (Byron/Coolangatta)
Marraki Kilpatrick (Port Magpies)
Tom Maher (Gunnedah Bulldogs)
Lachie Martin (Inverell Saints)
Will Mozzell (Inverell Saints)
Oli Rojo (Byron/Palm Beach Currumbin)
Ethan Sekac (Pottsville/Coolangatta)
Jordan Sue-Fong (Inverell Saints)
Jasper Thomas (Gunnedah Bulldogs)
James Vallender (Tamworth Kangaroos)
Evan Whitty (Grafton Tigers)
AJ Williams (Casino/Lismore Swans)
Jack Winning (Pottsville/Coolangatta)