Northern Heat finishes strongly

The Northern Heat program finished in style on Saturday with a practice match against the strong Surfers Paradise/Southport team at Byron Bay.

The match represented a fantastic opportunity for the players to put into practice what had been learnt during the three training sessions whilst also testing themselves against a team playing at a very high level and comprising a number of older players.

The Northern Heat started strongly to kick the first goal of the match. The two teams exchanged goals for most of the quarter, which finished with Surfers Paradise/Southport holding a narrow two goal lead.

Hamish Martin, Surfers Paradise/Southport coach, commented after the match “The Heat really surprised us in that first quarter with how strongly they attacked the ball and the amount of pressure they created for us. It stopped us from being as clean with possession as we wanted to be and kept the contest close.”

In the second and third quarters the Queensland team adjusted well to the pressure whilst the Heat struggled to maintain the level of intensity. This saw the Surfers Paradise/Southport outfit ease to a comfortable ten goal lead at the last break.

In a commendable effort, the Heat were able to maintain their composure and lift their intensity in the final term to outscore their highly rated opponents and win the last quarter.

Paul Taylor, Community Football Manager, said that the match was the perfect way to close the program. “The Northern Heat program was all about developing the players and there’s no better way to learn than to test yourselves against a strong opponent. For us, the measurement of the success of the program isn’t on the scoreboard, it’s looking at how much each individual developed and grew as footballers across the four sessions we staged.

“Within these sessions the boys had their first exposure to GPS tracking, learnt about strength and conditioning from a former Sydney Swans coach, and did contested work against the Burleigh Bombers Seniors.

“For the match we used GPS trackers again, whilst our preparation, warm-ups, and recovery were led by former Swans strength and conditioning coach Matt Pine in line with how the Swans go about their task. This has really opened the players eyes to what it takes to be an elite, professional athlete.”

Northern Heat players will now focus on club training ahead of the starts to their respective seasons in early to mid April.