Player development programme having payoffs
Perennial Bay of Plenty premier rugby league club Pacific Sharks have established as part of its player development programme, a pathway for players wanting to pursue
rugby league outside the district and even abroad.
Rookie of the year, Zac Van den Berg, has harbored dreams of playing rugby league at the highest level and even overseas. Former Tokoroa High XIII captain, Van den Berg like his predecessors, is destined for Wellington premier club, Te Aroha Eels.
He will link up with the team captain and former Pacific Shark, Anthony Utanga and gain employment as well as the opportunity to study at Weltec.
Dependent upon his progress as a player, a late developer, he has the potential to be linked with NRL feeder clubs in Sydney, according to his liaison person with Te Aroha, Marama Puketapu.
Van den Berg spent his early schooling years at Cargill and North primary before progressing onto Tokoroa Intermediate and Forest View High School where he played
first fifteen rugby as a loose forward from year 11.
Last year, also his final year of secondary schooling he flirted with rugby league at Tokoroa High school and instantly the dynamic forward converted.
Van den berg has his parents Mike and Kendra to thank for his development as a person and in his endeavor as an athlete as well as Gary Ward and Cheree Thomsen.
He also thanks Iwi Bennion of Forest View, Nooroa Manu and Tama Teaukura of Tokoroa High, Neville Takiri, Paniora Daniels, AJ Purnell and Marama Puketapu.