by Olivia Clarke
SMJFL clubs have selected the best, most eager players to be involved in the interleague weekly training sessions, which involve skills such as ball handling, heightened awareness during games and increased physical training, culminating with the team participating in the Interleague carnival in the middle of the year.
Currently going through the trials, the 66 players left will soon be down to 48. Head coach Ron Verma says the players have a lot to look forward to in this year’s interleague.
“Obviously the program has been developing and the kids entering have a lot of talent and are hoping the end result is winning the championship,” Verma said. “We’ve got some more kids entered into the program… There’s a new emphasis on giving as much feedback to the kids as we can that are in the program.”
The program is also highly sought after for clubs and their players.
“It’s a hard program to get into,” Verma says. “It is very competitive.”
According to Verma, the appointment of a new Interleague Coordinator, Stephen Zayler, is one of the better changes made to the program this season.
“We’ve never had that facility in the past,” he said.
Zayler agrees, saying the new system is much easier for everyone involved in the interleague: “The use of email and the website has been much higher this year. The coaches don’t have to stress so much… With just one person coordinating, it’s made it much easier for them,” Zayler says.
The kids who go through the interleague program have plenty to say to the coaches about the program as well.
“A lot of the feedback is just about how they’ve enjoyed training, working with kids from opposition clubs; you know training with them, making new friends,” Verma said. “It’s just a high level of training with a bunch of very talented kids so a lot of kids will benefit from being in that environment.”
Zayler echoes that sentiment.
“The parents have all been emailing back saying thank you to the coaches for their feedback, the drills have been high quality, they’re learning a lot from the program and they’ve really enjoyed it,” he said. “We haven’t had any negative feedback about the program so far.”
The Under 13 Interleague Carnival will be held on Sunday 8th June 2014.