Search for talent in Argentina
Saturday, May 22 2010 @ 09:41 PM ACST
Contributed by: Brett Northey
Talent scouts have headed to Buenos Aires in search of the next wave of AFL talent.
Peter Jess, well known for his involvement in recruiting Irish players, is heading the push. Greg Miller (former Richmond football manager) is the primary talent identifying agent, Robert Forster-Knight is in charge of athletic assessment, and in South America there is Leandro Zarco and Mario Cabellero. The West Coast Eagles' Steve Woodhouse is also expected to be present.
The plan is to target 16 to 18 year old players from soccer, Rugby and basketball, obviously those who don't get the opportunities/contracts they were seeing in those sports. Initially on offer is the chance for two players to "be selected to play in the Rest Of The World team in this years AFL National Underage Talent Championship", i.e. to join the World XVIII in July. The group will cover all expenses including 2 weeks preparatory training.
Unfortunately at this stage the group developing the plan don't appear to have made contact with existing South American Aussie Rules clubs. Recruiting elite athletic talent does not necessarily require local amateur clubs, but any synergies will hopefully be exploited, especially if this is to be an ongoing program and helps raise awareness of the game in Argentina and neighbouring countries. Certainly local organisers in Argentina and Chile are planning to make contact, and AFL staff have expressed their hope that local leagues will benefit.
The first trial is 830am to 530pm on May 28th, at Club GEBA, Sede San Martín, Figueroa Alcorta 5575 4781-5047.