Dolphins U12's Hope Perfect Run Continues at State Level
Terrific article in the Port News about the terrific season our U12 boys rep team has had this year, with State finals this weekend.
THEY are yet to taste defeat so far this season, but Port Macquarie Dolphins’ under-12s will face a tougher challenge on the Central Coast this weekend. The Dolphins will head to the state titles with an impressive unbeaten record that stretches back to their season-opener in March.
Coach Gary Turnbull said they had qualified for the state championships after winning their way through qualification process. They’re 16 and zero; so they’ve had a perfect track record for the season,” Turnbull said. This would be as good as any under-12 side has progressed historically and we do see these unique cohorts come through in various age groups from time to time. With state championships they take the top of country NSW and the top of metro NSW and that’s the one time the two get to compete against each other.”
Most of the squad are in their third year in the age division due to playing up an age bracket a few years ago.
“It’s been a combination of everything,Turnbull said. We’ve got a number of the squad playing in their third year of rep play which is quite extraordinary. Usually players will play for two years but we had a number of them start quite young so it’s a combination of experience and they gel really nicely.
"They’re disciplined beyond their age and they do what’s asked of them."
The coach admitted the newer players in the team had developed quickly from playing alongside some of the older players. Half the team are in their first year of rep basketball, yet they’ve developed really well because of the quality that’s around them,” Turnbull said. You play to the level that’s around you and they’ve trained with the core of experienced kids and they’ve developed quickly.”
Port Macquarie can’t claim a national title as the under-12 division stops at state level, but Turnbull admitted they had already achieved their goals.
“I think it’s already successful the fact that we’re there and we’re competing against the best,” he said. If we made the semi-finals I think that would be a fitting end to a successful season and anything other than that will be a bonus. So far they have beaten or been competitive with the real heavyweights in New South Wales – the likes of Newcastle and Illawarra. They’re big associations with lots of kids to draw from and we’ve been able to compete successfully against these far bigger and traditionally more successful associations.
“Whilst they wouldn’t be positioned as the favourites, they’re certainly in the mix and they will definitely be competitive against any team that will be down there.”