Tokoroa rugby league player’s star keeps rising
Sacrificing what most teens take for granted has paid off big time for Tokoroa’s Aamon Dean.
The 15 year old league player made a difficult decision last year to leave behind his family, friends and school in Tokoroa to further his training in Auckland. Now he has made the cut for New Zealand Rugby League’s New Zealand Resident 16’s team.
The players in the 18-strong squad have been identified as the best talent at 16’s level from throughout the country and will take on the Maori Rugby League 17’s on Saturday, in Rotorua.
Aamon, who caught the eye of rugby league scouts when he was just 13 and who is currently contracted to Melbourne Storm, said he couldn’t be happier.
‘‘It is pretty much the highest honour I can reach for my age so it is pretty good for me,’’ he said with a beaming smile.
‘‘I had to go through rep’ teams to be selected for this team and heaps of training with my brother [who is a rugby league coach].’’
‘‘Although we will be taking on older players this weekend I am pretty confident we will win. I am looking forward to it,’’ he laughed.
He said moving to Auckland was difficult at first but ultimately it’s been a good decision
‘‘I did Year 9 at Tokoroa High but I’m now boarding at Saint Kentigern College which has been a big change coming from here,’’ he said.
‘‘Sacrifice is a big thing and you have to say ‘no’ to stuff like going out with friends and partying, especially if you are training the next day but it has been good though and I have slowly adapted to life up there.’’
Before Saturday’s game Aamon will be attending a training camp where he will get to know his fellow teammates.
‘‘It will be about team bonding, training drills and getting to know each other because that’s what makes a team,’’ he said.
Later in the year Aamon said squad players will also have the opportunity to take on an Australian side.
He said he just wants to make his family proud.
‘‘I am the only one in the team from Tokoroa to make the cut, most are from Auckland, Wellington, and the South Island. I am not sure what makes me good, I am just passionate about the game and playing and working hard for my family,’’ he said.
Tokoroa teen Aamon Dean has made the cut for New Zealand Rugby League’s New Zealand Resident 16s team.