Half done: there are still eight clubs – eight players to break out – to come. This time we are looking at players from the Knights, Cowboys, Panthers, and Eels, who look to make a fist of season 2016.
Danny Levi wasn’t able to cement his first grade spot in 2015 due to a number of factors: Adam Clydsdale, who was a certain starter at the Knights in 2015 and contender for the hooker spot, especially. Clydsdale now has a home with the politicians in Canberra, which opens a door for Levi to play as either a starting hooker, or likelier, deputy to the also-exciting Tyler Randell. If selected, the Nines are a very good audition for a fast player of Levi’s mould, and there is no doubt he’ll look to impose himself on every pre-season competition he can to ensure a spot in Newcastle’s 17.
Gideon Mosby was without a doubt one of the best players in the NYC, and without a doubt will be one of the first in line for a call-up if first choicers Lachlan Coote, Antonio Winterstein, or scorer of the now most famous try in Queensland footy, Kyle Feldt, were to ever suffer an injury. Mosby possesses not only rampant speed but an uncanny scoring ability, getting to the try line 38 times in 23 games. So that is, every game, 1.65 tries. Not bad for a rookie.
Te Maire Martin is touted by some critics as the next Benji Marshall. Benji Marshall was able to take his team to premiership glory in only two years after debuting. But Martin has help that wasn’t available to the premiership winning Marshall; Jamie Soward is mentoring Martin and helping to develop all of his skills – a changing of the guard in a sense for Penrith, as Martin is a very likely replacement for the ex Dragons five eighth. Individual brilliance from Martin wasn’t enough for the Junior Kiwis to snare a win against the Junior Kangaroos but it could be enough to get him some games if either starting half were to injure themselves at the foot of the mountains.
Daniel Alvaro was impressive for what little game time he had in 2015; only coming to the fore as the season came to a close, he made a fist of his opportunities and showed he was a powerful runner of the football and a determined young player. Recent criticisms of the club have been that some players weren’t performing to standard and Alvaro was one of the young players to come in to the squad to replace the underperformers. With experience from some of the best representative forwards in New South Wales on deck, Alvaro is sure to improve though the year.
Tune in for the remaining clubs and their rookies in the next instalment!