Giants Academy get 2018 campaign underway in Wagga with opening training session

THAT TIME ALREADY: The region's talented teens are put through their paces at the Giants Academy's opening training session on Tuesday. Picture: Les Smith
THAT TIME ALREADY: The region's talented teens are put through their paces at the Giants Academy's opening training session on Tuesday. Picture: Les Smith

PRE-season began for the region’s brightest teenage talent on Tuesday night as the Giants Academy’s 2018 campaign got underway.

Brad Aiken has returned and will be joined by Tom Power in a new look coaching line-up, that also includes Tim Sullivan and Pat Noonan at a local level.

The under 16 and 18 groups got underway and will complete a five-week pre Christmas training block.

There was no mucking about on Tuesday night as players were put straight to the test with a two kilometre time trial.

Former AFL player Jason Saddington is head coach of Greater Western Sydney’s (GWS) Academy and is looking forward to seeing great results from the Wagga base.

“There is a lot of talent down in the region. We find it is one of our biggest centres and certainly one of our strongest centres,” Saddington said.

“Certainly in the draft the last few years we’ve had some good success down that way.”

About 100 players through six Academy bases across the state in both 16s and 18s will take part in the same pre-season program. The squads will be monitored throughout the pre and post Christmas phases before games begin in early March.

Teams will be selected in the under 18s to play in the five-game national academy series next year, while the under 16 squad will play a three-game series that double as selection for the NSW-ACT team.

Finlay Taylor and Alex Peterson are also part of the Giants team, looking after conditioning and medical, respectively.

The under 15 Giants Academy will begin at the end of January, while under 13s and 14s will start in March.