A COMMITMENT to training has seen Port City Breakers under-18 winger Jack Sheaves rewarded with a top grade debut.
Sheaves will take his place on the wing in the Breakers clash with Old Bar on Saturday at Regional Stadium.
While the absence of Owen Blair and Blake Wells due to rep duties helped his cause, Sheaves was more than happy to fill in for Dan Kemp’s ladder-leading side.
“This year it’s probably happened a bit quicker than I expected because of the great team we’ve got in first grade, but it’s just my turn,” Sheaves said.
“I’ve been training hard all pre-season and trying to be up the top with the fitter guys and trying to earn my spot.”
Sheaves admitted it was an “honour” to make his first grade debut after he came through the ranks at the Breakers.
“It means a lot because Kempy and the older boys have given me a crack and shows they’re keen to bring some juniors through,” he said.
“A few of the rep boys being away has probably helped my cause, but you can’t say no.”
Sheaves celebrated his 18th birthday last weekend and conceded there were nerves ahead of his first game in first grade, but he was also excited.
A few of the rep boys being away has probably helped my cause, but you can’t say no.Port City Breakers winger Jack Sheaves
“There’s a bit of pressure and I’m a bit nervous, but having a great bunch of boys around me will help,” the teenager said.
The 18-year-old said he wanted to get his hands on the ball as early into the contest as possible.
“I’ll go looking for the ball early rather than getting cold on the wing,” he said.
“I’m expecting a lot faster, tougher and stronger competition, but you’ve got to rise up and be ready for it.”
Sheaves has also been selected in the Northern Country representative side for their trip to Sydney next weekend.
“I’m playing first grade before then so it will toughen me up a bit before I go down there,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to getting my chance in first grade, getting whacked and hopefully getting a win.”
Under-18 teammate Ezra Gibson will also make his first grade debut at five-eighth on Saturday.
First grade kicks off at 3pm.