City of Bunbury Bulls under 17s coach Shane Jerret-Brown is working hard to keep his young side focused ahead of their grand final on Saturday.
The Bulls have won 14 of their 15 games in season 2016, topping their Perth league at the end of the regular season. A finals win against Kalamunda a fortnight ago earned the local side a spot in the decided where they will meet the Southern Lions, who finished the regular season in fourth place.
Jerret-Brown said he has not altered the training regime this week to ensure the side treat Saturday’s match just like any other game.
“The side travelled down to Margaret River last weekend for a session where we focused on fitness and team skills,” he said.
It can be quite a job keeping the excitement and nerves of the team of young men in check with Jerret-Brown saying his side must focus on performing in games the same way they do in training.
“Our style of game is quite fast-paced and we practice moving the ball at a really fast speed. We then try to replicate that on the field – and for many of the games this year we’ve gone pretty close,” he said.
“I’ve set the team a challenge of playing this final match the same way we train. If we do that, we should be in a good position.”
The current under 17s side know what it is like to take to the field for a grand final having made it to last year’s decider as well while half the team were still under 15s.
“These guys have played together for two-and-a-half years and know what it takes to get the job done,” Jerret-Brown said.
The coach told the Mail, the Bulls defeated the Lions when they met two months ago but the opponents are still a bit of a dark horse.
“We won’t be underestimating our opposition – they’ve have beaten some really good sides to get to the final,” he said.
Closer to home, Jerret-Brown said there are a number of great players on his squad for fans to get excited about. “Our hooker Jean Godfrey has been really special this year while our props Che Graham and Whare Rikihana have worked tirelessly,” he said. “We have also been really impressed by Dr Brink while Walker Smith has been a game breaker.”
Jerret-Brown took the opportunity to thank the Bunbury Bulls club, his coaching staff and the team’s parents and fans for their dedicated support for the side.
“I hope we can reward everyone’s efforts by bringing the silverware home to the South West,” he said.
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