5TH February 2018
A clear pathway for the 2018 McDonald’s Cutters Academy
THE QCCS Mackay Cutters are delighted to announce their 2018 McDonald’s Cutters Academy squad.
History tells us that Mackay is a breeding ground for great rugby league talent and too often this talent is lost to North/South Queensland and Interstate. With the creation of a sustainable Junior Development Program the Mackay Cutters can work closely with local junior players in clubs and schools to ensure players, coaches and teachers remain up to date with modern coaching practice.
The McDonald’s Mackay Cutters Academy allows young footballers the opportunity to stay in Mackay and continue their rugby league education. As junior players progress through the age group ranks Mackay Cutters staff work closely with junior clubs to ensure talent is identified.
Mackay Cutters CEO, Troy Rovelli said it was extremely important that our young talent start their career paths away from the footy field.
“Once they finish school, whether they are looking for an apprenticeship, traineeship or further study there’s no better place than right here in Mackay to combine that with footy and the support of their families and friends where they live,” he said.
“It’s extremely important that everyone understands that our young talent do not have to leave the support of their families and community at such an early age now that the pathway is here in their own back yard. “I am more than confident in the coaching staff and the program that the Cutters are running will match any system in the rugby league pathway market place.”
Under the direction of Mackay Cutters’ head coach Steve Sheppard and academy coordinator Scott Thorburn, the Mackay Cutters provide opportunities for both male and female players 12 to 18 years old. Coaches work intensively with squads of high performing juniors from the local area. This includes rigorous fitness testing, on field skill development and strength and conditioning. During the pre-season all junior players get the chance to train and interact with the Intrust Super Cup squad and coaching staff at the Mackay Cutters.
The Under 16 squads get the opportunity to test themselves in the highest standard of competition in the state. The Under 13-16 teams team prepare for the NQ Championships in the hope of earning representative honours.
The abolition of the NYC competition in 2017 came about mainly because of the welfare and the stress of transitioning to living away from home of our young athletes. This has allowed the Mackay Cutters to establish a true and genuine pathway to the NRL from the grassroots at a local level.
“We are very committed to our partnership with the Cowboys, but it would be unrealistic to think that all of our home-grown talent will follow the road to Townsville, now there is no reason why they can’t stay home, develop from the Academies to Mackay Cutters U18, U20 then ISC and then onto another NRL Club if they are good enough,” Rovelli said. “NRL clubs can now only sign 30 fulltime top squad players with an additional 6 Rookie contracts so the shot gun theory applied by some NRL clubs in the past is hopefully gone.”
For a full list of ALL successful Academy squad members please visit: http://mackaycutters.com.au/development/academy/