CENTRAL West under 18s coach Andy Hillan has a challenge on his hands this season, not just at the Country Championship in May.
The experienced mentor is in charge of the region’s generation next in 2013, mentoring an age group oozing potential but, as is often the case with 18-year-olds, one that lacks a touch of dedication to the cause.
Hillan has 13 players ready to go.
Obviously, he needs close to double that to field a competitive side come time to make the trip to Bateau Bay for this year’s country championship.
“It’s just a matter of getting everyone on the park,” Hillan said following the squad’s first training run at Pride Park last Sunday.
“We haven’t been able to get any Dubbo guys over or Mudgee or Forbes, so hopefully we’ll see some of those guys next time we meet.”
Hillan said proximity made life tough for the junior age representative teams.
It’s the reason the next time the side meets it’ll be in Dubbo or Wellington, with Hillan and his staff hoping a change of venue will attract some of the far west’s best young talent.
“We’re trying to get a few sponsors to help with the cost associated to travel as well,” the coach said.
“We have a trial, three (training) runs then the country championships and we know not everyone is going to be able to come to all the sessions.
“We recognise what’s going on in an 18-year-old’s life at the moment with other sports, school, the HSC and what not. We’re trying to accommodate everyone.”
The under 18s will trial against the Central Coast at Hawkesbury on Sunday, March 24.
After that, the squad will train on April 7 and then April 21, with venues to be determined depending on where the majority of players are coming from to be part of the squad.
Molong is a likely venue.
The Country Championships are on at Bateau Bay on May 5.
“There was no under 17s last year which makes it difficult to get the under 18s going this year,” Hillan said.
If any interested players want to trial for the Central West under 18s Hillan can be reached on 0414 943 416.