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Rising stars get chance to shine in regional showcase

Regional pride will go on the line when the Queensland Under 16 Country and Queensland Under 16 City sides face off in their end-of-season representative clash.

A new addition to the calendar in 2019, the game is being played in lieu of an interstate match against New South Wales, but will still provide rising stars of the junior game with an opportunity to shine on a big stage.

One of the curtain raiser games on a huge QRL grand final day, current QAS Under 16 Emerging Origin coach Mick Kennedy was appointed to oversee the preparations of the two sides in the lead up to the match and said he was looking forward to what the combined camp would bring.

The Queensland Under 16 City team on their first day of camp.
The Queensland Under 16 City team on their first day of camp.

The City side are coached by Brad Davis, with Matt Church in charge of the Country line-up.

“My role is to oversee the program, both the City and Country sides, and make sure what we are teaching within both systems is consistent for both teams,” Kennedy said.

“So, when they roll through to an Under 18 program, they have a solid grounding and they know what to expect.

“We brought in what we consider to be nearly the 40 best players in the state for the City v Country concept; but it’s not just about the game at the end of the week, it’s about education and development over the four days, and getting them to understand the different effort areas and defensive structures of other Queensland sides.

“We’ve got 26 players who were involved in the QAS camp in January as well, they know the expectations, they get to know each other, put their best foot forward and learn the systems as a group.”

City / Country boundaries applied for team selection, with the City team coming from Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast; and the Country team picked from the Central and Northern regions.

Selection was based predominately on performances in this year’s Junior State Championships on the Sunshine Coast.

“It’ll be a great game of footy, there two strong sides,” Kennedy said. “It was a great carnival up in Kawana earlier in the year; you’re basically looking at the two best sides in Queensland, so I’m sure it’ll be a great day of football.”

The Queensland Under 16 Country team on their first day of camp.
The Queensland Under 16 Country team on their first day of camp.

Outstanding performances by players in this match will be rewarded with selection in the Queensland Under 16 Merit team being selected at the conclusion of the game, with players to be presented with maroon jerseys.