Fresh from signing a new three-year deal with Wests Tigers, James Tedesco is now focusing his attention on securing the number one jersey in 2012.
The former St Gregorys College Campbelltown student can’t help but smile when he reflects back on his rapid rise to the NRL squad.
Twelve months ago, the Camden Rams/Eagle Vale junior was playing SG Ball for Western Suburbs Magpies in the junior representative competition after finishing 2010 as an Australian Schoolboys player.
The rise has been that quick for the 19-year-old that he hasn’t even done a pre-season of NYC training. He won’t need to now after being promoted full-time to the NRL top 25 man squad.
“I still can’t believe how fast things have happened but I’m not complaining at all,’’ Tedesco said.
“My focus this time last year was to play well for the Magpies to earn possibly a call up to train with the Wests Tigers U20s side or even to get a few games on the wing.”
Tedesco’s chance came in Rd 13 last year against Newcastle at Leichhardt Oval, coming off the interchange bench.
A fortnight later, on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Leichhardt Oval and in just his third game in the NYC, Tedesco scored 4 tries to equal the Club tryscoring record for most tries in a game. Then U20s Coach Grant Jones had finally found the full-back he was looking for.
Fast forward to today and Wests Tigers Head Coach Tim Sheens is keen to give Tedesco some time at full-back during the trials against Parramatta at Bluetongue Stadium (February 11) and Sydney Roosters at Campbelltown Sports Stadium (Feb 18).
It is not only a well deserved reward for his commitment to pre-season training but the chance to show his credentials at the senior level.
“It has been a great experience training with the senior squad. The workload is a lot more than what I am used to but I’ve learnt so much already. I’m loving it,’’ Tedesco said.
“My goal this season is to play consistent football. There will be weeks when I will have my ups and downs but if I can find some consistency in the U20s, you never know what it may lead to.
“I’m just honoured to have my name mentioned as a candidate for the full-back role as there are some good players here fighting for the position.”
31/01/2012 4:58:01 PM