Academy Tour – Day 16

It was straight to the training field after breakfast this morning; a light run out in the sun, with everyone getting the opportunity to work on some personal individual skill drills.

Day 16 – Tuesday October 24

With several coaches in attendance, it was a chance to really analyse and fine tune the individual positional specific requirements for each and every player.

This session was further enhanced as immediately after returning to base the coaches went through personal training reviews with each player using special sport specific video analysis software. This is a vital part of each and every player’s development.

After lunch, it was the short bus journey to Scenic World in Katoomba, the national park at the foot of the Blue Mountains.

It wouldn’t feel right for the staff if we didn’t remind ourselves of, and have a laugh at Eric Frodsham’s comment on a past tour, when he asked the guide: “Are there parts of the bush out there that haven’t yet been discovered?”

Scenic park is the home of various cables cars and the boys took the steepest railway in the world through the canopy to the foot of the hills.

Whilst wandering through the rainforest there were a few of the classic comments in keeping with the tradition of previous tours.

Tom Nisbet was looking forward to seeing the wildlife, not hoping to see Koalas or Kangaroos that you might expect in Australia but he asked would he see Jaguars, Panthers and Bears!

When reading a sign that was giving information about the history of mining in the area, Paul Nash was explaining that the one for the visually impaired (Braille) was in fact Morse Code!

Next it was on to Echo Point, home of stunning views across the mountain range and the three sisters, a famous landmark from aboriginal heritage.

A few of the lads had to overcome their fear of heights as the platform was way above floor level, but none found it harder than Joe Sharratt.

As the lads made their way onto the overhanging balcony to have a squad photo, Joe was very tentatively inching his way, looking like he had had an accident in his shorts, to the edge, unaware that the staff were all above laughing at him.

The day continued with more individual video review before heading to a favourite steakhouse once again for tea.

After food, the attention turned away from the players and onto the staff and their go-kart challenge.

The lads did get the opportunity to enjoy and race with Luke Maloney-Ward the standout performer, but their race was rather insignificant in comparison to the big one.

Nurse Skinner was out to retain his title from two years ago, newcomers Marsh and Ryan were confident of causing an upset with the experienced Traynor and Kilshaw also looking good, Talbot and Hardman also in contention with Richards competing the field.

After a close race with almost every rule being broken, many collisions, tyres flying off karts, karts spinning off the track it was the now two time champion Johnny Skinner who defended his title with a showing of expertise.

No surprise really to anyone who has seen him recklessly drive his Ford Focus ST around the streets of Liverpool!

The lads were buzzing on the short journey home and really enjoyed the challenge but it was straight to bed and lights out upon return as they have an early start in the morning when they are off scuba diving!

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