Bega Bombers revved up for target practice

Right now three young Bega Bombers must think the world is their oyster. 

Merv Avery-Smith and Lawrence Davis are on their way to the Adam Goodes Talent Program and Basilia Ragatu is headed for the Stephen Coniglio Talent Camp. 

Both camps will be held over the weekend of March 28 to 30.

Merv and Lawrence are among 60 young hopefuls picked from a field on 100 young Indigenous players across NSW. 

They will experience an intense long weekend training camp at the National Indigenous Centre for Excellence under the direction of Michael O’Loghlin.

Following the camp, they’ll benefit from monthly online mentoring from Australian of the Year Adam Goodes. 

Meanwhile, Basilia is headed for a weekend combined testing program at the same centre and all three have their sights set on further honours.

Merv and Lawrence are competing for places in the state under 15s side to play in the National Indigenous Championships later this year. 

And Basilia has hopes of making the 12-man squad to play an All Nations Championship at Coffs Harbour in April.

When Merv’s mother Deena arrived at Bombers’ training to have senior coach Matt Fleet sign off on his application, it was hard to tell who was the most proud. 

“We’re really very proud of what Merv and Lawrence have achieved in such a short time,” Fleet said.

Deena quickly replied “You’re proud? What do you think we are?”.

The ear to ear smile on Merv said it all. 

Merv and Basilia will line up for the Bombers under 16s side this season, while Lawrence, who is also making a name for himself on the athletics circuit, is still eligible to play with the under 13s side. 

The experience this trio will pick up is sure to flow back through the Bombers junior squads.

We are also sure there could be a couple of ‘selfies’ with the likes of Adam Goodes, Mickey O’ and Stephen Coniglio on show at training sessions next month.

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