WONTHAGGI Power Under 16 footballers were lucky enough to visit Collingwood Football Club’s Holden Centre recently for a tour and training session organised by former Power star Jarryd Blair.
Blair, who has now played 122 games for Collingwood since debuting in 2010, showed the youngsters around the state-of-the-art training centre for an hour before leading a training session for 1.5 hours with Power Under 16s coach Ross Bramley.
Bramley said the group were “absolutely stoked” to visit the centre.
“We’re very impressed with Jarryd’s giving of his time and his energy to hang around after he’d already finished his whole day of training,” he said.
“It’s something he doesn’t have to do but something he was willing to do so we’re very appreciative.
“Jarryd took part in all the drills which was a real buzz for the boys.
“The good part about it is he hasn’t lost his connection with country footy.
“He still cares about it and wants to see it flourish and bring about the next crop of young players coming through.”
The group have been training since late October under Bramley and he hopes the Wonthaggi Power side will develop into a representative team for the area.
“We’d play under the Wonthaggi Power banner, but it’s something where we hope we can work together with other clubs to try and create a similar environment to what Bairnsdale have, where players can play at the top level but still maintain a connection with their original club,” he said.
“Working with Jarryd has been about giving the young people around here an opportunity to see what it’s all like and what sort of opportunities are available.
“It’s also about what level of commitment is required to play at the highest level locally and then beyond local football.”
The Power Under 16s will start training mid-January after the Christmas break and a return trip to the Holden Centre is planned for late-January.
The trip will be open to any local footballers in the Under 14 and Under 16 age bracket and will likely involve a training session and meet and greet with some players.
Details of the trip will be posted on the Wonthaggi Power 16s Facebook page, along with all training news and updates.