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Bowls In Focus : November 2009
The Dragons are looking forward to a good year on the greens, with the first squad day well attended and a couple of new faces. We hope to be very competitive in all our challenges and the first will be against the Ballarat Gold Diggers in Ballarat on Sunday 29 November, with a clinic on the Friday prior in which selectors will announce the sides. It's great to see that five of our members are playing A1 pennant bowls in Bendigo, with Brayden Byrne at Eaglehawk, James and Nicholas Oliver with Castlemaine, Nathan Wilson at Bendigo and 12-year- old Troy Mansbridge with Strathfieldsaye. Congratulations to Aaron Wilson who has made the move to Essendon in the RVBA metropolitan premier division pennant and is playing third for state skipper Matt Flapper. The Central Explorers reunited in May to launch preparations for the coming bowls season. One of the older team players has been co-opted as a mentor and four new players have joined the team. There was some good news too. Young Ryan Davies had been sent an email to try out for the Victorian Under-18 State Junior Bowls squad. Ryan said, "I was over the moon to be selected in the team of 30. It was one of my proudest moments as I had achieved one of my goals." Our coaches have always outlined pathways for development, as well as setting goals along the way, and it was great to celebrate Ryan's achievement. To launch the Central Explorers Junior Development Program for this season, Mark Jacobsen, one of Victoria's finest bowlers, and a man who has represented Australia on many occasions, was invited to share his bowls knowledge, expertise and experiences with our juniors. This coaching session provided both group work as well as one on one mentoring. The young Explorers were very pleased to be getting tips that would improve their bowling skills. Since May, the Junior Development Squad has met regularly each fortnight to work on skills, processes and outcomes to develop their match play. This year, Trevor Young has assumed the role of head coach, while Warren Coyle is chairman of the Steering Committee. The Geelong Giants are in a rebuilding phase after 11 of last season's squad reached 18 years of age and moved into open company. This year's program is aimed at developing the talents of the next level of players, to step up and fill the gaps, while the newer players are learning more about the game. There are several exciting prospects. The Giants are well represented at state level, with Sheldon Devlin and Winston Brackley being joined in the Victorian Squad by Mitchell Jeffs. Mitchell shows great potential, leading for Drysdale in Division 1, while his other interest is preparing and showing Simmental cattle with Brenair Park stud. He has been to several shows including the recent Melbourne Show, where the stud won 11 first placings, seven major prizes and was the most successful Simmental Exhibitor. Then came six first placings, a second and 11 major prizes at the Geelong Show, again winning the most successful award. Mitch is also involved in the frozen artificial insemination program at the stud. Our squad has a really great program of events planned for this bowls season and all the kids are excited about getting together for a couple of hours each month. We've been putting up posters all around the area so that kids will know they can come and enjoy a couple of hours with the rest of us learning about bowls and playing matches - and not just bowls club members. Some of the Gr8z boys were selected to be members of this season's RVBA's State Junior Development Squad. Tom van Vugt, Liam Adams and Gareth Rich have been to two of the state squad's activity days so far and hope they do well at the November and December trials. They're hoping to get selected in one of the Victorian sides to play against Tasmania, ACT, and South Australia and in a 4-way competition in Adelaide. In October our squad had fun playing against the members of the Eastern Cougars at the Drouin Bowls Club. The barbecue lunch was pretty good too. Some of us were talking after the competition and were very impressed by the Cougars' bright orange shirts with their black flashes. Nathan Fraser, who goes to primary school in Warragul, plays pennant for the first time this season with the Trafalgar Bowls Club. He is very excited and practises as much as he can. 40 Bowls In Focus Wicked Under -18 Stuff From Around The State • Andrew Johnson, international star Mark Jacobsen, D’Arcy Maine, Matt Prudden and Jack Spencer at the recent Explorers season launch. • Mitchell Jeffs from the Geelong Giants with one of the prizewinning Simmental cattle he prepares and shows. • This season’s Dragons are looking forward to their summer program with great excitement. • Young Jesse McEwan from the Gr8z looks pleased with her bowl in their recent match against the Cougars.