All the travel has paid off for Shepparton's Brandon Robertson after he was selected in Melbourne Storm's under-16 squad for next season.By Matthew Galea
Travelling does not faze Brandon Robertson.
Having moved from Penrith to Shepparton, from where he must travel three times a week to train with the Melbourne Storm under-16s, he has certainly done enough of it.
The rising rugby league player, 15, successfully completed trials for the Storm’s Harold Matthews squad ahead of next season, and Robertson is looking forward to being involved in a professional National Rugby League set-up again after a short stint in Wests Tigers under-15 team.
‘‘When you make it to a rep team like that, you have to be very professional,’’ Robertson said.
‘‘You have to be very prepared.’’
Robertson has been travelling to Melbourne since arriving in Shepparton seven months ago, and was invited to the Storm’s junior trials after impressing for Broadmeadows North Thunder.
‘‘That was a good experience (at North Thunder),’’ Robertson said.
‘‘I had to play up an age, because they didn’t have an under-15s comp.’’
Next year will be the second season Storm has run an under-16 side and Robertson believed his experience with the Tigers gave him an edge over a lot of the other 79 trialists.
Robertson said he had become used to the two-hour drive to Melbourne for training, admitting the travel was probably harder on his parents than it was on him.
Pre-season training, on the other hand, promises to be a lot more challenging.
‘‘It’s going to be hard, there will be a lot of fitness,’’ Robertson said.
‘‘Official training starts in a couple of weeks, but they’ve already given me a program to follow now, so it’s almost like a pre-pre-season.
‘‘It’s up to me to do it by myself, but there’s a weight training program and fitness training, which is mostly short sprints and getting up and down.’’
When the season starts, Robertson will be travelling to more than just Melbourne, as the club’s fixture means he will be heading interstate regularly to take on other NRL under-16 sides.
‘‘We’re going all over the place,’’ Robertson said.
‘‘We play Wests Tigers, we play in Queensland .
‘‘This is all organised by the club.’’
Robertson, who can play in the front and second rows, harbours serious ambitions in the sport and said he hoped to one day make the grade for Storm’s senior side.
‘‘It’s a great opportunity and I owe a lot to my parents for pushing me so hard,’’ Robertson said.
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