Northern Heat teams impress on the Gold Coast

The Northern Heat Colts.

NORTHERN Heat representative teams have shown juniors from regional areas can match it with their metro counterparts with two outstanding performances on the Gold Coast last weekend.

In stiflingly hot and humid conditions both Heat teams played a positive, attacking brand of footy against teams that were up to eighteen months older than them.

In the first match of the day, the Northern Heat Futures Under 16 team started strongly against the Broadbeach Cats Under 17.5 team to post two majors and hold their opponents scoreless in the opening term.

The Cats worked their way back into the match in the second quarter to see the Heat lead by four points at the long break.

The humid conditions took their toll on the Heat players in the third quarter who were unable to hit the scoreboard as Broadbeach posted three majors.

The kids from Northern NSW showed great resilience in the final term to kick the last three scores of the match.
Trailing by 22 points, fatigued, and up against older and stronger players, it would have been easy to concede defeat, but the Heat players dug deep and ran the match out far the stronger against their more experienced opponents.

The Broadbeach Cats ran out 14-point winners, kicking 7.6 (48) to the Northern Heat Futures 5.4 (34).

The Northern Heat Colts Under 18 team started slowly against Coolangatta Blues Under 19, and trailed by 10 points at the quarter time break.

From that point on, the team found their stride and won each of the next three quarters.

It was in the third term that the group really hit their stride and played their best footy, kicking five goals against just one for the Blues.

What made the performance all the more impressive was the fact that the Colts team were low on numbers due to player unavailability, so six of the Futures team doubled up.

This was a herculean effort by these players considering the weather and the conditions and saw the vast majority struggling with cramps late in the match.

The Northern Heat Colts won by 31 points, with the Colts kicking 12.4 (76) to the Coolangatta Blues 6.9 (45).

Northern Heat Program Manager Paul Taylor said that the Gold Coast matches were about focusing on performance rather than results.

“The result was immaterial for us as the matches were all about the performance,” he said.

“We asked the team to play a system and the individuals to perform a role, and both of those elements shone through.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better effort against much older teams.

“Both the Coolangatta Blues and Broadbeach Cats were extremely impressed with our group and are keen to continue to build the relationship in future years.

“Great performances by both Northern Heat teams against their Gold Coast opponents saw them make a mighty impression on their older adversaries.”

The Gold Coast matches conclude the Northern Heat program for 2022/2023.

The next round of Heat programs will commence at season’s end and anyone interested in being considered must make themselves available for selection into the North Coast Force representative program.

The Northern Heat representative AFL program comprises the best players from the North Coast and North West regions in Under 16 and Under 18 squads.

Players are selected into the program based on their performance at the Northern NSW Challenge.

This off-season program exists to extend the representative pathway for the players of the regions and provide them with a further avenue to build their game ahead of transitioning towards senior footy.


The Northern Heat Futures.

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