YOUNG GUN SHINES

Teen’s match per­for­mance con­tin­ues to im­press

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Danielle Jarvis

JU­NIOR Sports Star nom­i­nee Lind­say Smith has had a suc­cess­ful year of rugby league, one of the high­lights be­ing se­lec­tion in the un­der-16 NSW Blues side.

But if Smith, a long­time player with St Marys Rugby League Club, thought that was tops, things were about to get much bet­ter.

The young lock for­ward came off the bench 13 min­utes in and played such a stel­lar game he was named the NSW Player of the Year and given the game ball.

He also was awarded the coach’s award by his life­long idol, for­mer Roost­ers cap­tain Brad Fit­tler.

“I was a bit over­whelmed just to make the side and win the game let alone to get that award and game ball,” Smith said.

“They thought I was the most valu­able player.”

His mother, Narelle Smith, said she was proud of his achieve­ment.

“It was a fan­tas­tic sur­prise,” Mrs Smith said.

“It just goes to show where hard work gets you.

“He’s still in awe of all of that; it’s been a big year for him, he’s achieved a lot.”

Mrs Smith said Lind­say was “very ded­i­cated to his sport”.

The 16-year-old, of Lud­den­ham, joined with his West­field Sports High School team­mates this year and took out the NRL School- boys Cup de­feat­ing the Gold Coasts’ Kee­bra Park High School.

He also won the man of the match in that game.

“I also played in the un­der-18s for schools and we won that,” Smith said.

He said he had been play­ing rugby league since he was five years old.

Last year, he made the un­der-15 Aus­tralian Schoolboys merit team.

Smith said he hoped to one day play for the NRL. “That’s the goal,” he said. “It’s far away so you need a back-up plan – so I’ll be go­ing to univer­sity.”

Rebel is the ma­jor spon­sor of the NewsLo­cal Ju­nior Sports Star Awards.

Play­ers aged 10-16 can be nom­i­nated for a Ju­nior Sports Star, Young Sport­ing Spirit or a Team Spirit award.

Vol­un­teers aged over 18 can also be nom­i­nated for their Ser­vice to Sport.

Pic­ture: NRL Pho­tos

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