Local touch footballers learned from the world’s best over the weekend as Mudgee hosted the Australia’s men’s open team, who held a two-day training camp.
(min cost $8)
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The team are currently preparing to defend their Trans-Tasman title against rivals New Zealand on the Sunshine Coast in May.
A series Glen Willow has hosted twice, back in 2012 and 2014.
In addition to training for their upcoming series, the team also took time out to coach the future generation of the sport at an open coaching clinic.
And Australian Men’s Open coach, Tony Trad, shared some of his wealth of experience with local coaches.
Kathy Lang, of the Mudgee Touch Football Association, said that it was a great opportunity to get some tips from – and to watch – those that compete at the highest level of the sport.
“It went really well, it was well supported by players and coaching staff, and they all got a lot out of the weekend,” she said.
“[Trad] is very approachable and very knowledgeable and knows how to tweak drills in ways and other things that people just don’t think of doing.
“It was great to have that expertise come here to the country to do this.
“What we got out of the weekend was that the drills are similar to what we do, but the pace and the execution is different going up levels – they go at break-neck speed and watching them train was quite amazing.”
Participants in the coaching clinic came not only from Mudgee, but from across the region including Gulgong, Kandos and Dunedoo.
Mudgee is well and truly on the Australian Touch Football map and having twice hosted the Trans-Tasman series helped bring about this opportunity.
Lang said that they’re hoping to continue to build on this with more high-profile Touch in the future.
“We’re definitely interested in doing this again and hopefully the women’s and mixed sides can join them as well,” she said.
“And a lot came out of it as far as things we can host, such as the possibility of running a knockout competition like other places hold.”
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