The next generation of football stars will have their turn at earning NT Thunder Academy selection when the PUMP Under 16 (U16) Boys Michael Long Cup takes place tonight and tomorrow at Asbuild Oval in Palmerston.
The aim of the PUMP U16 Boys Michael Long Cup is to assist AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) Academy coaches with identifying potential talent to represent the NT at national championships and carnivals in 2018.
At the conclusion of the games, players identified by the scouts will be presented with an invitation to join their regional academy.
Six NTFL teams will compete this weekend; Darwin Buffaloes, Nightcliff, Palmerston, St Mary’s, Southern Districts and Wanderers, each with a sprinkling of players from remote regions of the NT.
Each team will play three games of 20-minute halves under the keen observation of talent scouts and all participants will be given a short presentation about the importance of hydration for elite athletes by NT Thunder senior player Phillip Wills.
AFLNT Manager of Talent and Pathways Wally Gallio said Coca-Cola Amatil’s support of the PUMP U16 Boys Michael Long Cup meant players would be exposed to lessons beyond football.
“Some of these young guys have real potential to take it to the next level and carnivals like this one are important in helping them understand that it takes more than skill or footy prowess to being a great player.
“There is no doubt that some of the Territory’s future stars will be on display this weekend and we look forward to running similar events for those who couldn’t make it to Darwin this time, so they have the opportunity to join their regional academies also,” Gallio said.
PUMP sponsoring the Michael Long Cup was a natural fit, as the official water for the AFL and the number one water brand for sports and exercise.
The first games in PUMP U16 Boys Michael Long Cup commence from 5pm on Friday, and a full fixture can be downloaded here.