Young Ea­gle ready to fly

Gayn­dah league star Zachary Har­ris ex­celling in rep­re­sen­ta­tive side

Central and North Burnett Times - - SPORT - Adam McCleery adam.mccleery@cnbtimes.com.au

RUGBY LEAGUE: Zachary Har­ris has proven to be one of Gayn­dah’s su­per­star ju­nior rugby league play­ers and rep­re­sen­ta­tive team se­lec­tors thought the same thing, pick­ing Zachary as the only player from Gayn­dah to make the South Bur­nett Ea­gles.

Zachary, 9, was cho­sen in the front row and man­aged to win a num­ber of ac­co­lades at a re­cent rep­re­sen­ta­tive car­ni­val.

“I started play­ing foot­ball when I was five,” Zachary said.

“I like it be­cause I get to play and have fun with my friends – it’s pretty good to do that.”

Zachary’s mum He­len Har­ris said her son had a de­sire to play foot­ball from a re­mark­ably young age.

“He wanted to start play­ing when he was three years old but they ob­vi­ously don’t play at that age so he had to wait,” He­len said.

“He is full on about his foot­ball and cricket, he lives and breathes it.”

Zachary took part in a week-long rugby league car­ni­val in the South Bur­nett against teams from Wyn­num Manly, West­ern Downs, Cen­tral Downs, Charleville, Cun­na­mulla, Bar­won, Mac­in­tyre and Roma.

“Zac was the only one who got picked out of the North Bur­nett play­ers for the South Bur­nett team,” He­len said.

“He was picked for best for­ward for his team and the game at the end, which was an East ver­sus West game, he was also awarded a medal as one of the best play­ers on ground.

“The top play­ers from each team were picked.”

Zachary thrives in the rep­re­sen­ta­tive arena.

“The rules are different and it’s a com­pe­ti­tion of some re­ally good play­ers,” Zachary said.

He­len also pointed out that Zachary held his own against big­ger and older play­ers.

“He has only just turned nine and there were a lot of 10-year-old play­ers he was against,” she said.

“But he still learned quite a few new things from those games too.”

Al­though young, Zachary has al­ready set him­self goals for the fu­ture of his foot­ball.

“I want to be able to play for the Mel­bourne Storm one day,” Zach­ery said.

“Billy Slater is my favourite player. I would like to be able to do the things he does.”

He­len said she was al­ways sup­port­ive of her son’s de­sire to play rugby league, de­spite the po­ten­tial risks of in­jury.

“It’s a lit­tle scary be­cause they tackle so hard at this age and you don’t want them get­ting hurt,” He­len said.

“And it’s a lot of com­mit­ment too. He has train­ing ev­ery week and ev­ery week­end we are trav­el­ling to Eidsvold or Cher­bourg and places like that.

“But you need to be ded­i­cated to your kids in that way if you want them to suc­ceed.”

Zachary has shown ded­i­ca­tion to the sport and will con­tinue to put in the hard yards to im­prove his game.

“I like kick­ing goals at home or do­ing laps around the yard,” Zachary said.

That ‘yard’ be­ing a whopping two acres that Zachary runs around each day.

PHOTO: ADAM MCCLEERY

AIM­ING HIGH: Zachary Har­ris is a tal­ented ju­nior rugby league player and has been re­warded for it.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

The South Bur­nett Ea­gles un­der-35kg team com­peted at Clifton.

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