Territory Talent in Town for the Michael Long Cup
Thursday, October 30 2014 @ 05:32 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
The following is a press release from AFLNT about this weekend’s Michael Long Cup, being played in Darwin. This competition is a major part of the development process for Northern Territory junior footballers, and gives an opportunity for young players to bring their talents to a greater stage.
Being part of the Long Cup is a goal for many of our remote and city based juniors, and as part of Round 4 of the TIO NTFL this weekend more than 300 talented 13 year olds will participate in the annual event.
The Long Cup is the most significant junior talent event on AFLNT’s calendar, providing Under 14 players from all over the Northern Territory the opportunity to compete against the most outstanding players from the age-group.
Wally Gallio, High Performance Manager with the Northern Territory Football Club believes the standard of player will be high this weekend.
“The Michael Long Cup is the first step of these 13 year-olds dreams of playing, following in the footsteps of Michael Long who had such a distinguished career playing for St Mary’s (NTFL), Pioneers (CAFL), West Torrens (SANFL) the Northern Territory and of course the Essendon Bombers,” said Gallio.
“The Cup, in its second year, is well supported by the AFLNT Remote Projects Department, all major centres and NTFL Clubs”.
Players are descending on Northline Oval from some of the most remote areas of the wider region, with the Cup acting as the important first step in the AFL Northern Territory Talented Player Pathway.
The format sees five remote teams come in from over 30 communities who make up the following teams: East Arnhem, West Arnhem, Big Rivers, Barkly and Central Australia.
These remote teams will compete in a round robin format against the seven under 14 TIO NTFL sides, with the top players being selected in either the Country or City Teams.
“It looks to be a tough weekend for selectors with all the talent on show, but guaranteed two equally strong squads will be selected,” Gallio said.
Selected players go on to participate in three High Performance camps during the 2015 season and will be the first teams to access the Michael Long Learning & Leadership Centre (MLLLC) mid next year.
First bounce is 4:00pm Friday, with games commencing on Saturday at 8:30am and the grand-final at 7:20pm.