Kimmorley gets cubs ready for first grade

Wests Tigers player Obed Karwhin. Picture: Simon Bennett
Wests Tigers player Obed Karwhin. Picture: Simon Bennett

The next generation of Wests Tigers superstars are almost ripe for the NRL picking.

And it's former Australian and NSW halfback Brett Kimmorley who is the man charged with aiding their development.

The key: "keep it simple".

"They aren't full-time so we don't have a lot of time with them in terms of training and coaching, and it's hard for them because they also work and study," he said.

"Some of them come to training after eight hours of working and don't get home till late.

"The thing that you have to remember is that they are only kids.

"But you have to be harsh and honest."

In his first season at the helm Kimmorley has his cubs positioned comfortably in the top eight.

While he was reluctant to signal out one player for special praise, he has been impressed with several players including former Eagle Vale High School student Veiru Mapesone.

Left out of the side at the beginning of the year, Mapesone has been the regular halves partner for Junior Kiwi five-eighth Te Maire Martin.

"He's a very good athlete and a natural footballer," Kimmorley said. "You don't get many natural footballers these days who play off the cuff. We gave him an opportunity and he's never looked back."

Another one taking the Holden Cup by storm is Obed Karwhin, the winger who simply can't stop scoring. As a child he escaped the civil war in the Ivory Coast and as a young adult he proved equally evasive for opposition players.

"Sometimes you give kids a go that other clubs didn't want," Kimmorley said.

"He just trained the house down and basically forced us to pick him."

Kimmorley admits he is "blessed" with not one or two, but three successful junior nurseries.

Not only does the club have the pick of the litter from juniors in Campbelltown and Leichhardt, but a partnership set up with Gold Coast's Keebra Park State High School has continually produced talent such as former players Benji Marshall and Ben Teo, and current players Te Maire Martin Marion Seve and Watson Heleta.

This story Kimmorley gets cubs ready for first grade first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.