Super six Devils kids take next step with Falcons selection
RUGBY LEAGUE: The next generation of Gympie's top tier rugby league talent is well and truly taking shape, especially through five Devils juniors selected to pull on the famous Sunshine Coast Falcons jerseys next month.
Charlotte Blackwood, Jack Baumgart and Tully McLellan (under-14) and Blaine Watson and Zac Garton (under-13) have each been chosen to represent the Falcons' divisional teams set to compete at the Central Division Junior Carnival in Bundaberg on June 7-9.
It's the first nod for all except Blackwood, with the talented fullback having earned Falcons selection last year too.
A different selection process saw the talented youngsters head down to Falcons HQ for a trial, where rivals from across the Sunshine Coast league became teammates.
An anxious wait followed, until the squads published on the Falcons website revealed exciting news for the quintet.
McLellan explained the group's unique selection experience.
"We went away to Maroochydore, and we either got picked for white, black or gold Falcons teams at a carnival there,” McLellan said.
"They had the teams on the Falcons website and we found out we got picked.
"It was different, because due to weather and stuff we only had one training session. You kind of rocked up and played with people all over, like Nambour and stuff.
McLellan said he was looking forward to working on his own developments and forging new friendships with his Falcons teammates.
Asked about their form in Devils colours so far this season, the group gave unanimously positive responses.
"There's been close games for us, we've been a bit unlucky so far,” Baumgart said of his and McLellan's fortunes to date. "We're going really good. Blaine's being going really good,” Garton added of his teammate.
Watson has indeed been a standout, scoring seven tries in a 49-16 rout of the Kawana Dolphins last weekend.
"I have been working a lot on my fitness every afternoon, push-ups and sprints,” he said post-game.
"I want to make it to the NRL. Being the biggest and fastest in the comp is pretty handy.”
Devils junior president Ben Dore was full of praise for the up-and-coming stars.
"Obviously we love to see kids advancing and gaining these opportunities as a club,” Dore said.
"It's great ... that these kids are following rep pathways and it's great that the Falcons have opened up these pathways for local kids who want to go to the next level.”