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Rite of Passage camp

BTV: NT Training Camp insight Justin Crow provides some insight into the NT Training Camp for the first to fourth year players.

Essendon’s first to fourth year players will head to the Northern Territory on Monday evening for the Club’s bi-annual ‘Rite of Passage’ camp.

The players will travel to Darwin and the Bombers Next Generation Academy zones in West Arnhem Land and Tiwi Islands as part of the weeklong visit to the top end.

Senior Coach, John Worsfold, said the camp provided a number of opportunities for the Club’s younger players.

“The Rite of Passage Camp involves cultural learning and awareness, history of the club and its relationship with the Tiwi Islands and communities in Darwin, some footy work and some other educational pieces,” Worsfold said.

“The key benefits are that they don’t have the older players around them, so they have to now show their own leadership.

“They won’t be looking around to see what the older players are doing, they have to drive it themselves.

“Within the group of younger players, there are opportunities for players such as Jayden Laverde and Kyle Langford to show their own leadership, and for the younger guys to feel as though they can also step up and grab those opportunities.

“I expect the players to come back and have a better understanding about the Essendon Football Club and its history with the culture of indigenous players that we have had great relationships with.

“They will also find out a lot about each other, working through some adversity. There will be tough parts of the camp that will really test them and challenge them, they will have to rely on each other.”

High Performance Manager, Justin Crow, said the players had returned to day one of pre-season training in great shape.

“We had the young group of players back at training today. We had a few physio assessments then out on the training track,” Crow said.

“It was really good to see the boys train sharply first up, it’s a clear indication they have been doing their off season programs. They came with a lot of energy and we had a really good session.

“We will be continuing our normal football load up there so that by the time our older group of players are back, these guys will have had two weeks of training.

“It’s quite hot up in Darwin so we will be getting a nice training effect - little bit of a kicker while we are there.

“The players will head out to our Next Generation Academy Zones to spend some time in the community. The camp is a big part of us connecting with the Club’s identity and culture, which is closely linked to the indigenous population in the Northern territory.

“We will be heading to Katherine Gorge where we canoe and hike a long way away from civilization, it will be phones off and we will be out there together having an experience under the stars.

“The next place we visit will be the Tiwi islands which is a really important place for the Club.

“The main focus of the trip are these community links. I also think it is really important that this young group of players get away from the Club and away from the older players for a period.

“In a few years’ time, these players will be the core of our club, it gives them the opportunity to find their voice and get together and really build something heading into next season.”