THOSE lucky enough to get picked in the Australian schoolboys team will receive their jerseys from someone who’s done it all before – former schoolboy representative Andrew Hill.
Hill is in Port Macquarie to check out some of the action at the carnival.
Hill, a former acting CEO at the Parramatta Eels, left the game for a while to help the Greater Western Sydney AFL franchise get off the ground, but has come back to league to work as the director of league integration and game development.
He said he was the gap between the community and the state leagues – the NSWRL and QLDRL.
Hill paid tribute to the players in action at the carnival as they embarked on the next stage of their rugby league careers.
“These are some of the best 18-year-old athletes in the country,” he said.
“It’s such great football.
“It’s quick and clean, and the kids are doing their best representing themselves, their school and their state.
“The fact that they’ve made this level is in itself a tremendous achievement.”
Hill had no doubt more stars would be unearthed this year.
“This time last year it was Curtis Sironen,” he said.
“Look what he’s doing at Wests Tigers.”
He also thanked the Port Macquarie community for its support of the carnival.
“I’d just like to acknowledge the trememdous support the game receives from this town,” he said.
“We’ve had a great association with Port Macquarie over the years.”
He said support also came from the schools.
“I’d also like to thank the school teachers, principals and parents,” he said.
“They’re vitally important.”