The successful Manly Sea Eagles Pathways Program has been recognised with a record number of players selected in the NSW Junior Blues Squads.
Nine players have been named in the U18 Blues squad with four players in the U16 Blues squad.
Furthermore, Manly has more players in the U18s squad than any other NRL club
Manly players in U18 Blues squad
Jack Birt, Albert Hopoate, Jonah Palota-Kopa, Josh Schuster, Ben Trbojevic, Kaeo Weekes (pictured below), Sione Fainu, Siua Fotu, Alec Tuitavake
Manly players in U16 Blues squad
Teddy Wilson, Daniel O'Donnell (pictured l-r below), Israel Ahofono, Oscar Palin
In recent years, Manly’s strong junior base has allowed for the elevation of a number of pathways players to either the NRL or NSW Cup squads namely Tom Trbojevic, Brad Parker, Manase Fainu, Taniela Paseka, Albert Hopoate, Tevita Funa, Semisi Kioa, Haumole Olakau’atu, Cade Cust, Jade Anderson, Luke Metcalf, Tyran Ott, and Alfred Smalley.
Sea Eagles Elite Pathways Manager Kristie Fulton said the players selections in the Junior Blues squads is an ‘outstanding achievement’ for both the players and the Club.
“To have a record number of Manly Sea Eagles juniors selected is a huge compliment our Pathways Program,’’ she said.
“All of the players chosen have been members of our development program for many years, six of whom are local juniors from Christian Bros, Beacon Hill Bears, Cromer Kingfishers, and Mona Vale Raiders.”
She added Recruitment Officer Scott Fulton has worked tirelessly to seek out the best young talent to strengthen our junior base.
“We have also seen it as a priority to appoint the highest quality coaching and development staff to help guide our stars of the future,’’ Kristie said.
“The continuity of our coaching program at this level has benefited our playing group and not only are we seeing our juniors being selected for higher honours, but we are also now able to compete effectively with those NRL clubs who have traditionally been dominant in the lower grades.
“Most importantly, a greater number of pathways players are now transitioning through to the senior grades.
“Our players are true reflections of our pathways program – they have a focus on continuous improvement and striving to be their best in everything they do. We are very proud of their achievements.”
The U18s go into camp on April 15-16 with the U16s in camp on April 22-23.