NRL Knights grab Khaele in dream deal
NATIONAL Rugby League club Newcastle Knights have signed up a local Cooya Beach teenager on a two-year scholarship.
Seventeen-year-old Khaele Bowen began training with the club on November 28 after a successful year in athletics and finishing Year 12.
Khaele has been managed since the tender age of 16 after demonstrating hugely promising talent.
As soon as the opportunity came to snap him up the clubs came knocking, with the Newcastle Knights pipping the Sydney Roosters to the post.
Khaele recently had to make the tough choice between athletics and rugby.
The talented youngster won the long jump in the World Youth Track and Field championships held in Poland last year and has also qualified for the national athletic championships in Sydney next year.
“I chose rugby league because I prefer the team side of the game, it allows you to bond more, and means there is someone there to push you in training, rather than training by yourself,” Khaele said.
The humble teenager seems to be taking everything in his stride.
“I had the trial with the Knights a couple of months ago, I guess I played well and got offered the contract,” he said.
Khaele hasn’t had much time to stop in the last few weeks. He finished school at Ipswich Grammar, flew home for a whirlwind week-long visit, then travelled down to Newcastle to begin pre-season training.
“It’s great to be playing with the team - the training is hard, but it’s good,” he said.
’If I train really hard, I hope to become a first grade player.”
His mum Leah is in no doubt that given his previous success he can achieve his goal.
“I am so proud of Khaele, he has been dedicated since the age of 5,” she said.
His manager Clinton Titan agrees.
“Khaele’s a great kid with natural ability and is willing to put in the work. He shows great commitment and athletic ability,” he said.
“He’s new to the system, a blank canvas. His tall frame will allow him to carry some weight and stand him in good stead to progress from predominantly playing on the wing to fullback.”
Khaele will begin playing with the Under-18s squad, progressing to the Under-20s and hopefully a career under Knights master coach Wayne Bennett.
Polishing the silverware: David Roche
Off to the Knights: Khaele Bowen