Beau Kettle and Mat Bird suspected Nelson Young had some ability when they watched him in action as an under-18 five-eighth last season.
But Kettle admits even he's been surprised at how quickly Young has transitioned into first grade in a new-look Wauchope Blues backline in 2022.
Young has found a new home on the wing in a backline that has an average age of just 24 years old.
"We watched a lot of him last year and he wasn't ready then, but he was always in the back of our mind that he was going to get his shot and he's taken it and run with it this year," Kettle said.
"He's shocked the hell out of me and Mat."
Young scored a hat-trick in the Blues' 50-16 hammering of Taree City last weekend after he had made a strong debut against Port Sharks in a 14-12 win the week before.
He was asked about the possibility of playing first grade in the pre-season which was met with some uncertainty.
"We told him we were looking at him, whether he'd be keen to play and at the start he was umming and ahhing and we don't know if he felt a bit nervous or whatever," Kettle said.
"But when he did get his opportunity he took it with everything he had."
The 19-year-old is not afraid to take the tough carries out of yardage which helps get the team on the front foot.
"No-one wants to have those hard carries out of your own end and our back three with Zac Colemane and Reuben Trick are doing it and giving us forwards a bit of a break," Kettle said.
"It's getting us out of trouble and it's paying dividends."
Kettle says the future looks bright for the Blues.
The youthful Blues face another challenge when they face fourth-placed Port City at Regional Stadium on Saturday in the Group 3 rugby league match of the round.
Kick-off is at 3pm.
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