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   Jul 05

All-Australian honours for top Terang teacher

LEADER: Vic Country coach Paul Henriksen gives his talent-laden side advice during the AFL under 18 national championships. Picture: Getty ImagesPAULHenriksen is on the Gold Coast watching the next batch of AFL hopefuls run around in the under 16 national carnival.
Nanjing Night Net

He is looking for the next Jacob Weitering, the next Darcy Parish and the next Josh Schache.

Those three players are expected to be top 10 picks in November’s national draft.

The talented trio played under the Terang-based Henriksen as Vic Country finished unbeaten in six games on its way to the AFL under 18 national championships title on Thursday.

Henriksen’s efforts earned him All-Australian coaching honours.

Eight Vic Country players, including Weitering, Parish and Schache, joined him in the star-studded line-up after stunning performances against Western Australia, South Australia and Vic Metro.

Henriksen said the 2015 Vic Country crop was loaded with talent.

“Rhys Mathieson from Geelong has been outstanding and Josh Schache had an unbelieveable carnival at full-forward,” he said.

“He kicked a record 23 goals for the carnival and then there was Kieran Collins down back (who was good).”

Jarrod Berry, Gach Nyuon and Ben Ainsworth were the Vic Country’s other top team representatives.

Henriksen said it was a sense of team, not individual brilliance, that netted his side a championship clean-sweep.

“What I loved about the team is a lot of players were saying they couldn’t wait until the next weekend to see the boys,” he said.

“If you have team success at the national championships the individual stuff looks after itself and the more success you have as a team, the more individuals get recognised.”

Henriksen, a school teacher by trade, said he relished the chance to lead the under 18 outfit after a stint as Vic Country’s under 16 mentor.Herated Vic Country’s thrilling five-point win against Vic Metro in round one the most satisfying.

“The footage of the boys running from all areas of the ground to link up and celebrate knowing 40 seconds ago they were gone was great for morale,” he said.

Henriksen, who spent up to 20 hours a week on preparation throughout the two-month carnival, said communication was paramount.

“The happier the player and happier they are around the group, the better they perform,” he said.

The father of one said he was grateful for the ongoing support from his wife Leesaand employerTerang College,creditinghis rise up the coaching ranks to his involvement at Kolora, Terang Mortlake and Geelong Falcons football clubs.

Jacob Weitering

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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