U18 WA State team coach Joe McGuire says he is hopeful his side can put their best foot forward during this weekend’s Australian Secondary Schools Combined Affiliated States Championships in Darwin.
With Victoria, Northern Territory and the Presidents XIII standing between WA and CAS glory, McGuire acknowledged the magnitude of the task his side will face.
“It’s going to be a big challenge – there’s no two ways about that,” McGuire said.
“For us, success will be the guys coming back better from the experience and better prepared to go on with their football.”
Despite finishing second with a 2-1 record during last year’s tournament, McGuire says he isn’t putting the burden of success on his playing group in 2019.
“I haven’t heaped pressure or expectation on this group – I want them to remain comfortable and relaxed,” he said.
“Hopefully, we put our best foot forward.”
Fullback Billy Judge and forward Luke Callan are the only returning players from last year’s side, with McGuire singling out centre Nicholas Riggs as a fresh player to watch out for during the tournament.
“He’s a big, raw sort of a kid with a lot of natural ability,” McGuire said of Riggs.
“Moving forward I think he’s going to be really exciting to work with.”
McGuire also highlighted the importance of his West Coast Pirates’ SG Ball Cup experiences with Judge, Callan, Adrial Joanes, Kyran Namana-Tahere, Juven Tupou, Jacob Kerr, Kenny Siliniu, Dylan Estreich and Ronan Storrar all to feature this week.
“Coming out of an SG program they’ll know what to expect in terms of the side of the game,” McGuire said.
“Hopefully that SG Ball experience stands them in good stead.”
WA get their tournament underway against Victoria on Friday before taking on the Presidents XIII and Northern Territory on Saturday and Sunday respectfully.
All of the games will be played at Marrara Stadium in Darwin.
Friday 7th June: Victoria v WA (2.30pm WST)
Saturday 8th June: Presidents XIII v WA (12pm WST)
Sunday 9th June: Northern Territory v WA (8.20am WST)
1. Jarred Therkelsen, 2. Gethin Thomas, 3. Nicholas Riggs, 4. Billy Judge, 5. Dre Taurima, 6. Kyran Namana-Tahere, 7. Luke-David Wells-Talamaivao, 8. Ronan Storrar, 9. Jacob Kerr, 10. Luke Callan, 11. Brayden Karangaroa, 12. Trident Kara, 13. Jonathon-Luke Mato, 14. Maui Vettori-Lum, 15. Kenny Silinui, 16. Jaidyn Raumati-Katene, 17. Juven Tupou, 18. Dylan Estreich, 19. Jonathon Araya-Aliivaa