2018 KRSP Cup Camp Recap

A change of date for the KRSP Cup Camp added another layer of excitement for Kimberley Spirit U/19’s prospects around the Kimberley region. The camp is usually held in July which restricts plenty of players due to senior football along with other sporting commitments. With the camp being shifted to the March long weekend and next to no sport being played there were players from all over wanting a shot at representing their region at colt’s level.

The shift of date wasn’t welcomed by all though; mother nature threw an almighty wet season at the Kimberley which saw Kimberley Spirit Program Coordinator – Shaun Norman become anxious as the camp approached due to possible road closures.

Back to the footy... two weeks out from the camp twenty-six players were sent Selection Letters with majority parts of the Kimberley being represented (Broome, Bidyadanga, Derby, Looma, Fitzroy Crossing, Bayulu, Wangkatjunka, Halls Creek, Ringersoak, Balgo, Warmun, Kununurra and Wyndham).

On Friday the 2nd of March it was an early start for the Broome contingent with the team bus leaving Father McMahon Oval at 7am sharp. Following player pick-ups at Roebuck and Willare Roadhouses the players enjoyed lunch at Fitzroy Crossing’s Garnduwa Office. Pushing through Halls Creek and Warmun, the team arrived in Kununurra just before 8pm to round out a 13-hour trip for some of the team.

It was apparent the team was weary so following the establishment of camp standards and set up of sleeping quarters, the lights were out at the Kununurra Clontarf facilities.

It wasn’t long after sunrise on Saturday March 3 that the Kimberley Spirit team was waking up ready for a big day of on and off-field activities. Those activities included:

-          Touch rugby/light skills training session.

-          CAPS introduction workshop.

-          Game Scenario training session.

-          Pool Recovery Session with Claremont FC Colts team.

-          KRSP Cup Dinner with Claremont FC Colts team.

Special mention to Broome’s Jordan Bacon for passing on words of appreciation at the KRSP Cup Dinner for Claremont FC’s Kimberley visit on behalf of the Kimberley Spirit.

Following the KRSP Cup Dinner all Kimberley Spirit players and staff voted on who they thought had shown the capabilities to lead the team in the 5th KRSP Cup match against the Claremont FC Colts. Broome’s Orry Lovell was selected as Captain while Fitzroy Crossing’s Joharn Jack was voted Vice-Captain.

With dehydration an issue for several players in the team due to the lack of exposure they’ve had to high performance environments, Garnduwa’s Tom Ellies took it upon himself to deliver a short impromptu hydration workshop. This added another element of professionalism to the camp and opened up all of the player’s eyes to the smaller details that need to be mastered for them to reach elite levels.

Game day had arrived, it was Sunday March 4 and probably the hottest day so far on camp. The players were left to their own individual preparation before heading off to Kununurra’s Agricultural Oval on the team bus. Ord River Magpies FC were generous enough to open up their facilities for the match.

Kimberley Spirit Program Coordinator/Head Coach – Shaun Norman, in collaboration with the players, set four key focus points for the match that they thought would allow them to show their potential:

1.       Send ball long to hot spot (5-15 metres in front of goals).

2.       Lock ball in forward half (tackles, chases, 2nd and 3rd efforts).

3.       Rapid movement from defence (use corridor).

4.       Stay positive and have fun.

Throughout the match there were obvious signs of the lack of time the Kimberley Spirit players had spent with each other but there was definitely one consistent theme and that was pressure. From opening bounce to the final siren the Kimberley Spirit players applied the kind of pressure to Claremont that showed how proud they were to represent their region. There were also flashes of brilliance when transitioning the ball from defence to attack with blistering speed and continuous efforts to push the ball forward. Even though Claremont came out of the game with their 4th KRSP Cup, the Kimberley Spirit U/19’s team showed how good they could be if given more opportunities to train and play together.

Broome youngster Sean Williams was awarded the Keifer Yu Medal (voted best on ground by both coaches) with Warmun’s Rocky Carlton being awarded the match ball for his four quarter effort on the wing for the Kimberley Spirit team. Other notable individual performances worth mentioning include Fitzroy Crossing pair Joharn Jack and Wade Collard, Derby’s Chad Albert, Looma’s Winston Nellie, Ringersoaks Kierin Long, Warmun’s Michael Nungatcha, Wyndham’s Scott Timms and Broome’s Jordan Bacon.

The camp was rounded out with a pool recovery session (plus goodbyes to Claremont FC), a Kimberley Spirit player cook off and a hilarious quiz night. The reason this camp was enjoyable for all was because of the effort all of the players put into every activity. You could hear crickets at the start of camp but by the end of it the players were best of mates, which proves why it’s important that more opportunities are given to these young men to train and play together. These type of camps not only build up their football potential, more importantly it builds up their potential in education and in the community.