Laurie Daley and Trent Barrett were special guests at the Group 7 CRL Under 18s Academy Program at the Berry Sport and Recreation Camp at the weekend.
NSW State of Origin and Indigenous All Stars coach Daley, and Country Origin coach and NSW and Penrith assistant Barrett imparted rugby league knowledge and helped with mentoring the promising young footballers at the two-day high performance program.
The sessions marked the start of the 2012/2013 CRL Academy Program and included lectures on goal setting, nutrition, hydration, media training, and injury management and prevention.
The players also were out on the field participating in skills, drills and games with CRL Academy staff and special guest coaches.
On Saturday the players were treated to a special visit from Daley who spoke to them about performing to their potential and the importance of setting goals throughout their rugby league careers.
The players then worked with the CRL Academy staff and Daley who ran them through specific drills on passing, line-running and tackle technique.
"It's vital from a NSW perspective to have these types of programs running in country NSW," Daley said.
"A huge number of NRL and Origin players come from the bush and in particular the South Coast.
"I strongly believe this program gives young players the opportunity to develop and grow as a player and an individual.
"The academy gives country NSW players the opportunity to participate in a balanced high performance program which could possibly lead to a career in rugby league."
Barrett attended the program on Sunday and helped out with the field sessions, being heavily involved in giving individual guidance to players on where they could improve.
"I was very impressed with the players' skill levels and their attitudes and willingness to listen and take on board instructions," Barrett said.
"They were a great group of players and if they keep working hard they could reach higher levels within the game."
NRL Regional Game Development Manager, Matt Schubert, said: "Having Trent and Laurie come down to give our players an insight into what it takes to become a better player on and off the field was very beneficial for our players and I know they took a lot away from the two days.
"To have the current country and state coach at our camp was a great experience for our players and hopefully it gives the players the eagerness and drive to work hard and become a successful player and person."
The players now have a week's break and are then back into training at Bomaderry for their December trial game against the Central Coast SG Ball Cup squad.