The signs are very positive for the Manly Sea Eagles junior sides with very promising results across all age groups.
The Harold Matthews Under 16’s side finished in 8th position out of 17 teams with five wins out of nine games while the SG Ball Under 18’s side ended the season in 4th position with the six wins from nine matches.
This see's both junior rep sides make the semi finals with the HM side facing the Cronulla Sharks in an elimination final game while the SG ball team will face the Canberra Raiders in a qualifying final match.
Glenn Moore coaches the Under 16’s Harold Matthews Cup side while Chad Randall coaches the SG Ball Under 18’s.
The success of the Under 18’s has been very promising for Manly Sea Eagles Coaching Development manager Simon Healey who claims that more than half of the boys in the SG ball side are playing a year above their age. “Half the squad is only seventeen, so most of the boys could still be around next year, that’s the advantage we have here.”
Healey was also quick to praise some of the boy’s form early on in the season and believes a lot of their success is down to the hard work of the coaching staff along with the players. “All the coaches have been doing a fantastic job, there have been some great performances so far from a lot of the boys."
"Sam Verrills, Max Lehmann and Livingstone Chee-Kam have all been great for the Harold Matthews side, then you have boys like Luke Poseli, Cade Cust, Billy Lainbridge and Jaiden Tarrant doing well for the SG Ball team.”
The success of both sides this season has been one to savor for Healey as he believes the Club are starting to reap the rewards of a pathway program that was put in place to help develop the Sea Eagles junior sides.
“Four years ago we put a plan in place that would see a lot of these local junior boys come through the system playing their footy together, and I believe that we are now starting to see the benefits of this pathway that has been in place.”
The NYC Holden Cup Under 20’s side sits in 2nd position on the ladder with five wins from six games. Their first defeat was suffered last week against the Panthers.
This is a massive achievement for the young Sea Eagles considering the injuries and promotions to NRL that have hampered the side.
It’s a fantastic sign of things to come for Sea Eagles fans as there is nothing better than seeing local talent coming through the junior grades. The future is looking bright.
Out of the two junior sides, the Under 16’s boast 24 local players out of their 25-man roster while the Under 18’s boast 20 from 28.