John McKee Tells Of Way Forward

EPP academy manager Viliame Gadolo said the talent identification process focuses on three different categories.
29 Nov 2019 15:49
John McKee Tells Of Way Forward
Fiji Under 18 squad during National induction at Bedesi Park on November 27, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

John McKee urges players to make good use of the academy set up by the Fiji Rugby Union.

Fiji Airways Flying Fijian head coach made the comment during the Elite Player Pathway Academy induction launch at the Pacific Theological College conference room yesterday.

“What will take you to the highest level of the game is hard work,” McKee said.

“I want to urge the young ones and the senior academy players to really make sure that you work hard to become better rugby players and even a better person. Make sure to make use of the opportunities to learn and develop and work and play hard.

“Just having your talent won’t achieve your goal. Talent will get you so far but it won’t take you to the highest level of the game.

“Just do your part and work hard and be in the academy programme.

“It is a great programme and a very good environment for you to develop your skills and yourself at the highest level.

“This is a pathway if you want to be a Fijian Drua, Fijian Latui, Fijian Warriors or Flying Fijians.”

McKee applauds academy

McKee applauded the academy staff for their hard work in taking care of the talents that come through the system.

“Looking down from the top end of the game which is the Flying Fijians for me, it is pleasing to see that this pathway is always been good for Fiji rugby so I want to congratulate all the staff that have worked very hard with the players.

“We already have players making an impact for the Flying Fijians who are from the academy from a young age and some of them are still in the academy programme. We saw that at the Rugby World Cup and the recent game against the Barbarians.

“If you’re new player coming into the programme, remember the pathway is right in front of you so if you work hard you will achieve your goals,” he said.

Talent identification process

EPP academy manager Viliame Gadolo said the talent identification process focuses on three different categories.

“The first one is the pre-academy group in the age category of 15 to 18-years old.

“We then have the Apprentice group including schoolboys players and some who are working towards the Under-20 program,” said Gadolo.

“The third group have been in the Pathway programme for up to 3 years, many who are in the Fijian Drua, Warriors and Under-20s programs,” he said.

Gadolo said the induction initiative driven by Fiji Rugby aims to introduce high-performance framework principles to the next generation of rugby athletes and will call upon professionals across different disciplines to deliver workshops across the three days.

“The main priority is to introduce players to the content of being in the high-performance academy, the expectations and routines, plus deliver lectures around strength and conditioning plus medical,” he said.

In a new component to the 2019 programme, the parents and caregivers of the athletes have been invited to attend a workshop around the support they can provide.

Edited by Osea Bola

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