Innisfail talent on show in Junior Marlins teams

Innisfail is well represented with 10 of their most talented young rugby league players recently selected in the Northern Region Junior Marlins teams.

Chey Congoo and Bonnie Ryder have been picked in the Under 16 team along with Jessy Johnston and Kimberly Bryant in Under 14 side that will compete in the Junior State Championships at Kawana on Sunshine Coast from July 4-7. 

This is an impressive achievement in Ryder's first year playing rugby league and it seems talent runs in the family with her brother Tureti selected in the Marlins Under 13 boys team.

Prior to the State championships, players will go into camp this Sunday, June 30.

In early June, the Northern Region junior rugby league championships were held at Brothers Leagues Club in Townsville for the first time.

More than 27 Innisfail Brothers junior rugby league players represented the newly formed North Queensland Country team.

North Queensland Country (a combination of Innisfail / Eacham and Outback - Cape / Torres and Mount Isa) played for the first time against sides from Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and Northern Territory.

All teams performed strongly, considering teams were put together from Cape / Torres, Mount Isa, Innisfail and Eacham and had only one and half days training together.

At the completion of these championships, the Northern Region Junior Marlins teams were selected which featured 10 players from Innisfail Brothers junior rugby league club.

The girls teams will be up against teams from Brisbane, Central Queensland and the rest of the state where they will vie for Queensland selection.

Troy Cooper and Lisa Sue San who have been coaching Southern Cyclones Under 17 girls team (which recently finished their season in Cairns as runners up to Tully) said the girls had been strong performers and are expected to do well against the southern teams.

Under 13 players Xapheniah Tanner, Tureti Ryder, William Roos, Lebron Heron-Jia and Jayden Wahlin were selected to take part in a QRL Northern Division development camp at James Cook University, Townsville from June 30 to July 2.

Braithan Ketchell (Under 14) was also selected for the camp, but was unable to take part after dislocating and fracturing his kneecap at training.

This is the third time the Division has run a camp like this which will assist players find a pathway into Under 14 / Under 15 and Under 16 teams at the State Junior Championships in 2020.

The development camp is aimed at improving player talent and skills and will conclude with a game at Brothers Leagues Club in the morning followed by lunch at 12.30pm to be provided for players and parents.

Numbers in Innisfail's junior ranks are thriving with more than 230 registered players from Under 6 to Under 16 with a wealth of talent across all age groups.

At training, the boys coaches Troy Cooper and William Cunningham have been focusing on nurturing on-field footy talent and skills with a strong emphasis also on personal development to produce respectable citizens in the local community.

Main image: Innisfail players selected in Northern Region Junior Marlins teams - Kimberly Bryant, Chey Congoo, Bonnie Ryder, Xapheniah Tanner, Braithan Ketchell, Tureti Ryder, William Roos, Lebron Heron-Jia and Jayden Wahlin. Absent: Jessy Johnston Photo: Maria Girgenti