SELECTION in the Raiders ranks wasn’t a fluke.
Young footballers Chris Hart, Steve Cummins, Matthew Sherer and Lachlan Croker already work more hours than most adults.
On top of spending 32 hours a week at school, the teenagers are preoccupied with training three nights a night and must then tackle the arduous task of homework.
It’s not unusual for them to return home from Canberra post-training at 9pm.
Now, it seems, their hard work is paying off. Hart and Croker are part of the Raiders SG Ball squad and Sherer and Cummins members of Canberra’s under 16s Harold Matthews Cup outfit.
With the exception of Hart, sidelined through injury, each begin their season on Saturday.
For the next 12 weeks, they’ll lace up their boots, slip on the Raiders jersey and tear in. Then, when the season closes, they’ll exchange the Raiders jumpers for that of the Workers Bulldogs and Stockmen.
While their mates off the field and spend hours a week in each other’s company, Croker and Hart have a rivalry of sorts – they both play the same position.
Croker will occupy the fullback spot in the Raiders clash with the Greater Western Sydney Academy.
Hart is likely to return to fullback when fit though Croker, a handy utility, will remain in the team.
Their young school mates, meantime, hope to forge a reputation in the game. Sherer, a prop, and Cummins, a fullback and winger, on Saturday play their first matches in Raiders colours.