Tathra’s Ty Dowdle is headlining for the Monaro Colts in the under 16s Country Championships.
Ty was last week announced as captain of the under 16s squad to take on the Andrew Johns Cup competition.
“Getting named captain in front of the team was pretty special,” Ty said as one of just a few Group 16 players named in the roster.
“I’ve been more keen [for footy] since I got picked for the Colts side.”
The Colts played their first outing over the weekend, where they level-pegged with the Illawarra South Coast Dragons to finish 16-16.
Ty felt the Colts could have had the result, but was still pleased with their debut appearance.
“It was a great game in the first round,” Ty said. “It was very physical and a good start with a free so we should have come out with a win.
“But a couple of missed opportunities to come out with the draw, it was still a great first round for us.”
The Sea Eagles junior said he was relishing a shift into the fullback role.
“I’ve played in the halfback and five-eighth position most of my life, but now in fullback I’m feeling pretty good about that position,” he said.
“I try to lead the lads by getting them around the field talking and trying to boost morale to keep them keen.”
Returning coach Brenden Bradley is hoping his new-look side can strive for a semi-finals berth this season and challenge for the Andrew Johns Cup.
With many players having never experienced representative football before, Bradley admitted everyone was excited and his players were ready to enjoy the experience.
“As long as we can compete with the other sides and improve, we might be able to sneak into the Semi-Finals,” Bradley said.
“The main focus is developing – winning is a bonus for them, so we’ll see how we go.”
A highlight for the Colts off-season was a coaching session with Canberra Raiders staff including NRL Coach Ricky Stuart and former Raiders stars Brett White and Andrew McFadden.
Ty said it had been awesome getting to experience a higher level of competion.
“Seeing people’s different playing abilities is amazing and it’s been very good to be a part of,” Ty said.
The local teen is also excited for the chance to play in front of a packed house at Bega this weekend before the NRL trial game.
Ty said he followed Manly, but was still pumped to play as a curtain-raiser for the game.
“Going on before an NRL game at Bega … I’m very keen to play in front of my homecrowd this weekend.”