Meet the former Mullumbimby Giant now playing in the NRL
AARON Booth’s NRL debut was the realisation of a childhood dream he had since his junior days with the Mullumbimby Giants.
Except instead of being wearing the red and white of St George Illawarra, he donned the purple of the Melbourne Storm with the Dragons standing as opposition.
“Even through that period, I sort of always knew that, I supported the Dragons quite heavily, I always knew I wanted to play rugby league.”
“I switched to the Mullumbimby Giants from under-10s onwards and just never really stopped … me and a bunch of my mates from school won the under-18’s in 2012.”
Booth’s journey to the NRL was long and saw him recover from two back-to-back knee reconstructions.
He never gave up hope that he would make it and proved he was capable by taking out the Melbourne Storm’s best pre-season trainer award.
“There was definitely times I thought it wasn’t going to happen, maybe it just wasn’t my path … that sort of put a hold on everything.”
He said he never thought he couldn’t do it, but “there was definitely times I thought it just wasn’t right”.
“I just knew going into it (the pre-season), I had to give everything and that’s one of the things they look for, and I just went into it. I knew that I was either going to crack it from that pre-season or I wasn’t.”
The lead up to his debut against St George proved a nervous wait for the 25-year-old as they awaited league clearance.
“There was sort of whispers at training and at dinner that night … Craig Bellamy caught up to me and told me the plan.
“It wasn’t until the day before that I got the all clear, it was a bit of a nervous week.”
Booth said he took a lot out of his first game for the Storm which he hopes will not be the last time he wears the jersey.
“As soon as I made that first tackle, I was like ‘alright this is just another game of footy’, it was definitely a lot faster, but it didn’t blow me away, I didn’t feel out of place.
“I obviously want to be with the Melbourne Storm, and they’ve given me the opportunity, it would be unreal to play again.”
Booth hasn’t been named in this week’s team for the final against the Parramatta Eels, but we hope to see him back on the field soon.