The AFL premiership may have been run and won for 2014 but for these seven Maitland Saints juniors the love of the game will continue over the summer months.
Marshell Riches, Zack Stewart, Rahn Sonneveld, Matthew Guy, Nathan Murdoch, Edward Sutherland and Olly Latter have been selected to join the Hunter Academy of Sport training squad.
The Saints dominate the squad of 24 players, aged between nine and 12 years of age, and will be coached by Maitland president Kevin Greaves as well as NSW ACT AFL development officer Craig Golledge.
They met for the first time at Myuna Bay on the weekend, which included fitness testing, skill work and a nutrition consultant.
The academy squad are due to gather on the first Sunday of each month throughout the next six months.
“It definitely improves the boys’ skills,” Latter, in his third year with the academy, said. “And it keeps everyone interested in AFL.”
The Saints juniors are split across Bolwarra, East Maitland, Rutherford and St Paul’s primary schools.