Introducing the Builders Academy Team of the Year

Last Sunday we tuned into a new episode of Future Stars on Channel 9 to catch up on all the TAC Cup news, and to see the first instalment of our new series, ‘Builders Academy Team of the Year’. After Bendigo Pioneers midfielder Kobe Mutch earned the first spot on the line-up, we got a look at what goes into balancing early mornings on the work site and late nights at training with young apprentice Hayden Blythe, who’s also a star running defender/mid-fielder for the Calder Cannons.

Building, construction and footy

In the first episode, we caught up with apprentice Hayden Blythe on the job with his boss, Rob Pala, as they got to work on a bathroom renovation. Turns out they weren’t always boss and apprentice: Rob was Hayden’s coach before giving him a leg-up with an apprenticeship after he finished school.

“He always did everything he was asked to at school,” Cannons talent manager Ian Kyte says, “But I think he was one of those boys that wasn’t really all that keen on schooling and wanted to get out, and into the workforce, and find something that he was really interested in.” Ian’s right; Hayden’s taken to his apprenticeship like a fish to water, and is working just as hard on the field.

Nick Rutley, the development coach for the Cannons, keeps in touch with Rob to make sure they’re all on the same page when it comes to Hayden’s future and making the most of his potential, both on-site and on the field. If anyone understands the demands Hayden’s under it’s his former coach, so Rob is flexible with his apprentice’s schedule to make sure he has enough time to get to training from the site. Nick says Rob is a great support for Hayden in his footy ambitions, which any player will tell you is essential!

Stay tuned…

There’ll be four more episodes of ‘Builders Academy Team of the Year’ airing on Future Stars over the rest of the season; tune in every Sunday at 12.30pm on Channel 9 to see who we chat to next, and find out who joins Kobe on the dream team.