The North Coast Bulldogs Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cup squads came together over the weekend for a skills and welfare session and since their partnership with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs that began in 2018, they have reaped the benefits of receiving NRL-standard training and welfare sessions.
The Junior representative season was cut short this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but competitions are set get back on track in 2021, as regional players prepare for the Andrew Johns and Laurie Daley Cups to kick-off in February.
“We put them through some tough testing and find out who can push through that extra pain barrier,” Bulldogs Development and Pathways Manager David Hamilton said.
“We’ll give them a program to go away and then they need to come back at least at this level and that’s a difficult thing to do, to train by yourself and not be pushed by someone so we’ll find out about their character as well,”
“There’s some really good talent here - the area is known for producing talent and that’s exactly why the Bulldogs have invested into the area.”
The session included speed and agility testing, as well as an off-field welfare session that covered off on topics like concussion and anti-doping, which forms an integral part of the representative program.
“Part of our role is to give these young men the opportunity to be the best players they can be and give them the same opportunities the kids in the city get,” NSWRL High Performance and Elite Pathways Football Manager Matt Parish said.
“Having the North Coast associated with the Bulldogs means they get the programs that the NRL clubs have got so they’re missing nothing.”