Young Lions ready to roar in 2017

The Mittagong Lions left the den last weekend to put their juniors through their paces in a trial at Albion Park.

PRESEASON TRIALS: The Junior Mittagong Lions played hard in their preseason trial matches in Albion Park on March 11. Photo: supplied.

PRESEASON TRIALS: The Junior Mittagong Lions played hard in their preseason trial matches in Albion Park on March 11. Photo: supplied.

All the junior players had their first taste of rugby league for the year after the club’s successful finals campaign last season.

The trials were held at Croome Road Sporting Complex on March 11, against Albion Park Eagles and the Dapto Canaries.

Many new kids turned up to wear the historic green and gold jersey that their fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers had worn before them.

Mittagong Junior Lions club secretary Billy Hayward

Mittagong Junior Lions club secretary Billy Hayward said the under-6 and 7s matches were the highlight of the day.

“Many new kids turned up to wear the historic green and gold jersey that their fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers had worn before them,” he said. 

Four girls also wore the green and gold jerseys and Hayward said their performance was outstanding.

“They did not disappoint or look out of place with many wonderful runs, tremendous tackles and lots of smiles,” he said. 

Under-8s, 9s, 10s and 11s all showed that they were in for a fantastic year with plenty of supportive play and team work.

Coaching staff were impressed with the strong effort players put in against their bigger opponents.

Hayward said the under-12s and 13s showed plenty of brilliant early form in the preseason with some nice combinations and structure. 

The under-14s team looked very clinical in a dominant performance against a weaker Dapto team.

Hayward said the team was a “class act”.

“Set plays, wonderful line speed and communication led the team from start to finish,” he said.

“Based on that performance they look to be a force to be reckoned with in 2017.”

The under-16s came up against two quality Albion Park Eagles outfits and played the game with plenty of shape and structure.

The match identified that the team has to work on their defence ahead of the upcoming season.

“Overall it was a pleasing result for the coaches and the match gave them plenty to think about ahead of round one selection,” Hayward said. 

The 2017 season will commence on April 1.