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globalrugbyleague - Mon, 12 Feb 2007 06:22:00 GMT
They say you never forget the first time you kick a Rugby League football. But sadly for many gifted players from the country, there are many who only remember their last punt.

For every one or two stars from the bush who go onto greater things, there are too many tales of former juniors who head to the city and spend most of their time in trial games or the lower grades.

Yet while many NRL clubs make do with an abundance of human resources at their disposal, country clubs have to keep digging to replace their lost gems.

Not an easy or enviable task you’d imagine given that many who bushwalk down to the Hollywood of Rugby League don’t return to the bush.

And even if they do as Jamie Lyon did with Wee Waa in 2004, it’s not for very long.

Lyon returned to the Group 4 competition in June but by August he signed with English club, St Helens and was soon back in the big-time.

With so many stars opting not to bring the skills and experiences they further develop in the city back home, the options for guidance might seem limited at times for the Bush juniors with a sparkle in their eye.

But Australia and Cronulla Sharks coach Ricky Stuart had some pretty simple but vital words of wisdom to share to the Western Advocate during a recent coaching seminar in Dubbo.

“"The first thing I want these boys to recognise is that your mum and dad are the best judge for which way your career should go," Stuart said.

"They are the ones who care more than anybody else.


"They are also the ones who have the boy's interest at heart and will be ultra careful about what decision they make.

According to the premiership winning coach, having the talent recognised isn’t the biggest challenge for the rising country crop but who you trust to take care of it off the field.

"If a kid has some talent then you can be rest assured that an NRL club talent scout has heard about the boy," Stuart said.

"They turn up in numbers and close by are player managers keen to get signatures on contracts.

Another of my principles is not to let managers sign you up at football carnivals, you need to have two or three meetings with them.

"Some player managers are honest and trust worthy but don't rush into choosing a manager - I've been lucky having one manager throughout my career.

Which leads me to this question. Should parents hand over their pride and joy to an individual well schooled in the art of getting his or her slice of the profit generated or should the mamas and the papas in fact become the player managers of the future?

After all if you can’t trust your parents, who can you trust?

Source - Western Advocate. - Read More, Here