It was the final chance to impress for Fremantle’s Tendai Mzungu NGA Squad when they took on the West Coast Eagles Naitanui Academy and the WAFL All Stars in a back-to-back fixture earlier this month at Cockburn Arc.

The opportunity was given for the Squad to impress selectors, with players aiming to be elevated to Fremantle’s elite program next season.

The Squad took on a strong Naitanui Academy outfit, while the WAFL All Stars were comprised of the best 16-year-old players from WAFL clubs - Claremont, South Fremantle East Fremantle, West Perth and Peel.

01:37 Mins
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'It's exciting for them' | NGA Tendai Mzungu Squad

We spoke to NGA coach Roger Hayden at the Tri-series football round robin game against the WAFL All Stars and the West Coast Eagles Naitanui Academy.

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The Tendai Mzungu NGA Squad is for players aged under 16 years. This academy focuses on high level decision making and execution of basic skills under game level pressure and preparing players for future State and National level football programs.

Fremantle’s NGA coach Roger Hayden said several players stood out across the two games.

“It was a really important series for these guys that they performed well…and I loved the toughness that a few of the boys displayed,” Hayden said.

“We have a selection process where we will select up to ten players who will go into our elite squad next year.

“Jesse Merillo (Perth) and Jett Sibosado (Claremont) played great through the midfield and so did the big fella, Mitchell Edwards (Peel), in the ruck who was fantastic with a couple of taps around the centre square bounce.

“Some of our backs, such as Marcus Fitzgerald (Peel) and Jacob Whan (South Fremantle), also held up the backline and performed really well.”

After a dominant display by the WAFL All Stars in game one, Hayden said it was pleasing to see Fremantle bounce back strongly to take on the Naitanui Academy in game two.

“We are always looking for consistency across the ground and for the boys to stick to our process and game plan,” Hayden said.

“We played against some quality opponents with the WAFL guys who are comprised of the best 16-year-olds in the state.

“Our boys had a tough outing in the first game, but we were really pleased with the way they rebounded against West Coast in the second match.”

As the year wraps up on the NGA calendar for 2021, Hayden also made mention of the incredible support from Tyrepower since coming onboard as the Club’s Next Generation Academy partner.

“It’s fantastic, they have jumped onboard and supported us throughout the year,” Hayden said.

“We can’t thank them enough and hopefully we can keep that relationship going over the years to come.”