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Australian Camp Diary – Peter Norman

first_imgFollowing last weekend’s training camp in Parkes, Australian Men’s Open player, Peter Norman tells us about how the camp went, what the team got up to in Parkes and how the team is feeling in the lead up to the 2013 Trans Tasman Series. For those who don’t know me, my name’s Peter Norman and I’m from the Gold Coast and play for SQBD Sharks. I made my Open’s debut for the Australian Mixed Open side in Auckland at the 2010 Trans Tasman, then in 2011 I had to withdraw from the Mixed Open World Cup side due to Rugby League commitments with the Titans under 20’s. At the start of this year I was again chosen in the Mixed Open squad however I wasn’t selected in the final side to play against New Zealand in Mudgee. Even though at the time it felt like a massive kick in the guts, in hindsight this was exactly what I needed to take my game to the next level. After speaking with various coaches and getting feedback, I worked hard on fixing the flaws in my game in order to try and reach my goal of representing my country at the Men’s Open level. When I found out that I had made the final side I was so stoked and I owe Trady and Sfeirsy big time for putting their faith in my abilities come game time in February.Over the weekend our Men’s Open team and the Mixed side had a training camp in Parkes. On Friday I was the last to fly into Sydney, arriving at 7.00pm before hopping straight on the bus where everyone was already waiting. The six hour bus trip to Parkes flew past thanks to Phil Dunphy’s (Dan Withers) bus driving skills as well as Ziade’s pranks and Stowey’s stories keeping everyone entertained on the way out. We arrived at Parkes at 1.00am and everyone was ready to go straight to sleep after hearing Trady and Sfeirsy’s golf story for the 100th time.  After breakfast on Saturday morning the boys headed out to the fields to conduct a coaching clinic for the Parkes juniors. It was a great turn up with teams from the under 12’s, 14’s, 16’s, and 18’s Boys and under 14’s and 16’s Firls. The coaching clinic seemed like a great success and all of the kids had an awesome time and hopefully took something home from it. Highlights from the coaching clinic included crowd favourite, Georgie (Jonathon Palau) getting swamped by all of the kids in Parkes enough to make Justin Beiber jealous, Ziade teaching his under 16’s Girls how to cheat in offside Touch because they were getting carved by the immaculately drilled under 14’s Girls coached by Stuey Brierty and myself. Another highlight was thinking we had lost Goody for a couple of hours until we realised he was actually coaching the under 12’s and wasn’t a part of the team. Captain Steve Roberts even made a late appearance once the UV rays had settled down to an appropriate level only to find that Ranga (Ben Moylan) had used up all five litres of the sunscreen. After running the kids through various drills and games we escaped the heat and had a lunch break in the shade with the Parkes Touch club providing the food and Matt Tope’s nose providing the shade. After lunch we got down to business and went back to the hotel to have a video session. Once we finished the video session everyone came out on the same page and knew what direction we wanted to go in so it was time to put it to practice. We headed back out to the fields to have a run against the Mixed team to work on what we had just talked about and also to put on a show for the kids to see what Touch is like at the elite level. The game was fast paced and ensured both teams came out of it with things to work on over the rest of the weekend. After the game finished we trained for another hour or so then headed back to the hotel for some much needed R&R.At 7.00pm we had a private dinner, which we were privileged to have the mayor of Parkes attend and speak at. On Sunday we were up bright and early (except master splinter aka Dyl Thompson who missed breakfast because it takes him two hours to brush his teeth). After another awesome breakfast put on by Ace and Beryl, we were off to the fields to work on our line attack and line defence. The boys put in a massive effort in the 5000 degree heat leaving nothing in the tank. After a solid training session Trady was happy with where the team is at so we pulled up stumps and headed back to the hotel for showers. As Dylan Thompson and myself are the only two debutants in the side on arrival back at the hotel we received our official welcome into the team, which was an experience in itself to say the least. After everybody was showered up and ready to go we grabbed a quick feed and began the drive back to Sydney.Overall the camp was a great success and a lot of fun was had by all involved. As a team the boys are as pumped as ever to keep the winning tradition continuing and we are by no means taking the New Zealand side lightly as we’re more than aware of their capabilities, especially on home turf.  I’d also like to thank Wayne Grant and Cathy Gray as well as everyone at TFA for all their efforts in the elite program and in making this camp happen. On behalf of the Men’s Open side I would like to say a huge thanks to Ace from the Comfort Inn for putting up with us and always ensuring we had everything we needed. As well as a huge thanks to Al and his sideburns for helping organise and run the camp, we appreciate it mate!Related LinksCamp Diary – Pete Normanlast_img read more