Find out how A move from the bush to the coast has led to some exciting news for this rising rugby league star …
Please introduce yourself to our readers …
Well, I’m 17 years old, soon to be 18 (in December), and I’m the second youngest in a family of four boys … poor Mum! I’ve been living in Coffs for a couple of years now, and at the moment I’m sitting my HSC at John Paul College in Coffs Harbour, and I’m looking forward to finishing school and being able to start the next phase of my life.
You moved to the Coffs Coast from Cobar roughly two years ago. What have you enjoyed most about living here so far?
I really like it here in Coffs. Living in a bigger town, where there is much more happening, means that I have had a lot more opportunities since moving from Cobar.
I mean, Cobar only has about 3,000 residents, so you can imagine that there’s not as many opportunities there for young people. So living in Coffs has been great from that perspective, and the coastal lifestyle is a lot different too, but I have really enjoyed the change.
When did you first start playing Rugby League specifically? I understand it wasn’t actually that long ago that you had your first game …
I played Junior Rugby League as a kid, but since moving to Coffs I’ve also been playing AFL, and that saw me playing in my first ever grand final.
I first started playing Rugby League in Cobar with the Under 8s team, and I played with the same group of friends until we reached the Under 16s. Most of my weekend games consisted of 600 kilometre round trips getting to and from the games, which is something I haven’t missed since moving to Coffs. And I bet Mum hasn’t missed driving us around either!
I played Rugby League in the Group 11 Representative Side in 2009/2010, as well as the NSW Young Achievers Side, which toured Papua New Guinea … that was an amazing experience!
But as I said, after moving to Coffs at the start of 2011, I was actually playing AFL, and I won my first grand final with the North Coffs Under 18s AFL team. But to top that off, the following week I won my first ever Rugby League grand final with the Coffs Harbour Comets Under 18s! That win has definitely been the highlight of my footy career so far.
Rumour has it that you have some exciting news about the future of your Rugby League career … tell us the goss!
Yes, it’s very exciting actually. I got spotted by some talent scouts, who travel the state to find juniors to join the NRL, and it was recently confirmed that I have been lucky enough to have signed a contract with the Gold Coast Titans Under 20s squad.
How did your selection actually come about; when and where were you spotted?
I was playing in the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges trial at St Mary’s in Sydney, when I was approached by the Titans’ scouts to join their club.
It’s very exciting for me to have the opportunity to train and play alongside such talented players, with the possibility of breaking into the NRL first grade!
What position will you be playing in your new team, or is this yet to be decided?
It is yet to be confirmed what position I will be playing, but they have said that it will most likely be in the back line centre/wing. Honestly though, I will be happy just to make the team!
So, when will you be off to the Gold Coast, and what are your other plans while you’re there? Will you be studying, as well as playing footy?
As I said earlier, I’m in the middle of my HSC at the moment, but when that finishes in mid-November I will be heading up to the Gold Coast. I’m hoping to go to university next year to study Exercise Science, but we’ll just have to wait and see how my uni applications go first.
How do you feel about this fabulous opportunity you’ve been offered; are you nervous, as well as excited?
I am really excited to have the opportunity to play football at such a high level. I’m looking forward to the challenge that the future brings.
What’s the dream for you in terms of your footy career – where would you like to be in 5 years’ time?
I would like to succeed in the top grade of football and also to complete my studies. I will only be 23, so hopefully I will still be playing footy.