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Dreams Come True for Local Rugby Player

After three long years of being unable to play sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic and his own health issues, Alphonzo Kereti was thrilled to be selected by Rugby Victoria for the Melbourne Rebels U14's State Team Tour.

Alphonzo lives at Accolade with his family and by his own accounts admits the last few years have been particularly challenging for him, both mentally and physically. However, the setbacks he faced did not dampen his spirit or determination. Despite being a Year 8 student at a Sports Science Academy, juggling Physical Education classes and committing to eight hours of training per week for two different rugby clubs, he has managed to overcome these obstacles. His drive to succeed in his chosen sport led him to trialling for the full-back position in the Melbourne Rebels U14's Victorian Team Tour which required additional hours of after-school practice, focussing on honing his ball kicking skills and maintaining a healthy diet.

Dreaming of becoming a professional rugby player and being selected for the Melbourne Rebels U14's Victorian Team Tour has given him a newfound sense of confidence.

Alphonzo said that with hard work and dedication, he can achieve anything he sets his mind to.

“The commitment and sacrifices I have made so far have only strengthened my belief in my potential,” he said.

Joining the Melbourne Rebels U14's Victorian Team will not only allow Alphonzo to pursue his personal aspirations, but it also presents an incredible opportunity to bond with teammates and build strong friendships. Being part of a team fosters a sense of camaraderie and teaches valuable life lessons that extend beyond the rugby field. He looks forward to sharing this journey with his fellow teammates, supporting one another, and celebrating their victories together.

The state training tour has so far included an intensive 10-week journey comprising 15, two-hour sessions packed with fitness and structure training, drills, and skills development, as well as learning plays and codes. The program has also emphasised the importance of self-reflection through journal writing, allowing team members to track their progress and identify areas for improvement. This comprehensive training program aims to equip its players with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete at a top level.

The culmination of Alphonzo’s training will be showcased this weekend when he goes to Brisbane as part of a tour where he will play in six games over two days. Alphonzo said these games will not only test the teams’ abilities but also serve as an opportunity to apply the skills he has learned and display the hard work he has put in.

“I am eager to step onto the field, give my all, and enjoy the thrill of the game with my teammates.

“Being chosen for the Melbourne Rebels U14's Victorian Team Tour is an accomplishment that I am immensely proud of. I am grateful for this opportunity in my pursuit of becoming a professional rugby player,” he said.