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Storm train for country carnival run

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

The Great Southern Storm 15s development squad is gearing up for the country carnival in Perth later this month.

The squad began training about two months ago after more than 70 junior footballers from throughout the region were invited to take part in the development program.

With the squad recently cut down to 45 players, the final team of 27 will be announced on June 26, and coach Glynn Vebruggen said making the final selection would be a tough task.

“It’s going really well so far — we’ve been working on basic skill development with some fitness testing and then a bit of game style,” he said.

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“There’s a lot more depth than last year so a few really talented guys will miss out, unfortunately.

“Last year we didn’t win a game.

“We were undersized but it’s more of a development focus rather than winning or losing.

“If we’re moving the ball the way we want to, then we’re happy.”

Vebruggen has a breadth of experience after a season with Claremont at colts level before returning to Albany to win the Plaisted Medal in 2008 playing for Royals.

The 29-year-old, who underwent knee surgery earlier this year, was also a player-coach at Northhampton in the Great Northern Football League in 2013 and 2014 and said he was enjoying being on the other side of the line so far in 2017.

“It was a pretty natural transition for me into coaching,” he said.

“It’s nice to be helping out the Storm and it’s a great team to coach. They are so eager to learn and improve and they’ve got good morals so it’s easy to manage.”

The squad will play four matches in conjunction with the Landmark carnival, facing off against development squads including Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Narrogin.

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