Rugby Union: Joey has a Super time for Reds
IT will take out 11 months of his year but there is no denying the drive former Far North Coast rugby union winger Joey Fittock has to succeed.
It is why he left Alstonville High School to finish his secondary education and play more rugby at The Southport School on the Gold Coast.
Three years later and the 19-year-old has become part of history with the Queensland Reds Under-20s team taking out the inaugural Super 20s Championship at the weekend.
The Reds had a dominant 35-5 win over the Melbourne Rebels at Ballymore in Brisbane.
"All the boys put in a big effort and we'd been training since October," Fittock said.
"You could see how much we improved and it was a thrill to be part of it.
"The Super Rugby was great to travel around and it had a professional feel to it, staying in motels at all the different cities and playing at some of the big grounds.
"I've only won the one premiership before this so it was a special moment.
"With all the club rugby coming up now I'll probably only have the one month off later this year but it's all fun to be part of."
Fittock has plenty on his plate, working at a burger bar near where he lives in Brisbane.
He also studies Exercise Science and Nutrition at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.
"It (the workload) defin- itely catches up with you sometimes," Fittock said.
"But this is something I want to pursue and I would love to get into the top Reds Academy."
It shapes as a big year for Fittock as he goes back to play with the Sunnybank club in Queensland Premier Rugby.
He hopes to gain selection in the Australian team for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Man- chester, England, in June.
He had a taste of the green and gold last year when he represented the Under-20s against Japan in the Oceania Rugby Champ- ionship on the Gold Coast.
If he is selected to go to England, he will follow in the footsteps of FNC juniors Sam Croke, Jake McIntyre and Rowan Perry, who have all been on overseas tours with the Under-20s.
McIntyre also attended Alstonville High School and is now playing five-eighth for the Reds in Super Rugby.