YOUNG GUN SHINES
Teen’s match performance continues to impress
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