Kyogle juniors join the Titans
By STEVE SPINKS
THE new Gold Coast National Rugby League team has continued its signing spree of Northern Rivers juniors with two more local boys enticed north.
Outstanding Kyogle juniors Will Matthews and Michael Walker have joined the list of youngsters aligned with the Titans, which includes Marist Brothers' Harry Witt, Ballina's James Rix and Walker's younger brother, Shannon.
All the players, except Michael Walker, were in the Northern Rivers Under-18 team that won the NSW Country Divisional Championship earlier this year.
Matthews, who was the player of the recent Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League Under-18 grand final, signed only in the past month and will head north to finish his schooling at Palm Beach-Currumbin High School.
"He's going to do Year 12 up there," proud father John Matthews told The Northern Star.
"He'll be involved with their sports excellence program and play rep footy.
"On Saturdays he'll be playing for the Gold Coast feeder team, which will most likely be Tweed Heads Seagulls."
It's a bit of twist considering Matthews' Kyogle team defeated Seagulls in the local grand final.
The 95kg 1.90m back-rower, who is equally at home in the centres, was noticed by Gold Coast official and former Penrith Panthers premiership forward Scott Sattler.
"We've done all our dealing direct with Scott Sattler and he's a very down-to-earth bloke," Mr Matthews said.
"It's beneficial for Will playing on the Gold Coast because he can come home at short notice and he doesn't have a long way to travel."
Michael Walker, a halfback, missed most of the season due to a knee injury, which kept him out of representative football.
However, a superb couple of performances in the finals series, including a mature game in the grand final, caught the eye of Gold Coast officials.
The Gold Coast's first signing, Penrith five-eighth Preston Campbell, was due to meet the boys and Sattler at Kyogle yesterday.
However, bad weather meant his plane was diverted to Brisbane and the meeting was postponed.