Great experience for young Emerald players
THE UNDER-12 Emerald Brothers are in Gladstone this weekend to compete at the prestigious Jason Hetherington Cup.
Much like the U10s Gordon Tallis Cup, this competition attracts teams from all over the state.
Brothers U12 coach Tim Matheson and his squad left on Thursday morning to set up and get ready for today's clash with the Yeppoon Seagulls after 9am.
"I've known the majority of these kids since U6s," Matheson said.
"Good bunch of young blokes that love and breathe their footy.
"We're able to combine the Brothers White and Blue teams to play as one team
"They train hard and they're all excited for the carnival."
The primary objective of the carnival is for the team to enjoy their football and play a good brand of football.
"It's important as in they get to go down and play as mates," Matheson said.
"It's not about winning and losing, it's about being apart of a team.
" As long as their having fun and playing good footy, win lose or draw."
The carnival also presents a good opportunity to gain valuable life's experience.
"Mateship, bonding and experience and getting to play against other teams from other towns," Matheson said.
"The smiles on the kid's faces does it for me."
Of course competing well against rival teams from across the state is a great measuring stick to see how the club's juniors are developing.
"We do well normally with these carnivals," he said.
"The country kids that are out here try hard and love it.
"Each carnival we're right in there and it's entertaining to watch."
The Jason Hetherington Cup Carnival runs from July 12-14 and include other Central Highland U12 teams; Clermont Bears, Emerald Tigers and Blackwater Crushers.
Today, day 1 of the carnival, the U12 Brothers play four games against Yeppoon, Highfields, Sarina and Kawana.