South Sydney’s Harold Matthews Cup Coach, Jason Peterson, spoke to Rabbitohs.com.au in his review of his side’s 2015 campaign this week.
Peterson’s side fell one win short of a Preliminary Final’s berth against the Balmain Tigers last Saturday at Leichardt Oval by 18-16.
The mentor described the 2015 season as an ‘up and down’ one for the under 16s, but one that was crucial in the development of the talented group of players, the majority of whom hail from the local district.
“It was a very rewarding year,” said Peterson.
“Out of our 22 man squad, twenty of them have come from our local district in South Sydney Juniors – Coogee Wombats, Mascot, Maroubra, Matraville – that’s the big vision of the juniors to make sure we’re looking after our own first.”
Peterson praised the relationship between the junior ranks and the Rabbitohs’ first grade squad, with senior coaches such as Michael Maguire, Wayne Collins, Kurt Wrigley, Matt King and NRL Football Manager Mark Ellison serving to bridge the gap between the junior reps and the Rabbitohs’ senior ranks.
“That relationship is outstanding,” said Peterson.
“From our pre-season that started in late October, early November, Matty King’s been at least one or two days down there (at training) doing skills sessions.
“Madge was always on hand for myself and Willie (Peters) and the coaching staff to give us tips and pointers. And then also through to Ello (Mark Ellison) turning up to the games.
“It just closes that gap and makes the kids proud to be a junior and obviously look forward to coming through the senior ranks.”
South Sydney’s SG Ball side (under 18s), coached by Willie Peters, have progressed to the Preliminary Final. Click here to find out more.