The 2015 Junior Representative season officially concluded for the Illawarra Steelers with the successful staging of their annual presentation evening at Illawarra Leagues Club on Tuesday.
In an event that celebrated the efforts of all players and staff from the 2015 Junior Steelers Harold Matthews (U16) and SG Ball (U18s) teams, it also recognised those who excelled with four major awards being presented on the night.
Harold Matthews Head Coach Adam Blake announced the worthy recipient of his Coach’s Award as utility player Sam McCann, whilst the 2015 Harold Matthews Cup Player of the Year, second-rower Tomas Harris, was announced by Dragons CEO Peter Doust.
Harris received his award from St George Illawarra Dragons centre Euan Aitken, who only two years ago was an Illawarra Steelers SG Ball Cup player himself.
Aitken told the players, staff and parents who attended the function that “the gap between where these young players are now, and the NRL, is small indeed if they dedicate themselves to both their footy and their studies or work.
“The trick is to do both as well as you can, every training session and every day.”
Shane Millard and Shaun Timmins presented the 2015 SG Ball Cup Coach’s Award to prop Kye Madden before Steelers and Dragons Director Sean O’Connor announced centre Donte Efaraimo as the 2015 Illawarra Steelers SG Ball Cup Player of the Year.
Efaraimo received his award, the Rick Posetti Memorial Trophy, from St George Illawarra Dragons Head Coach, Paul McGregor on behalf of the Posetti family.
McGregor again emphasized that talent only accounts for so much, and to be successful at an NRL level takes a great deal of hard work, dedication, and the correct balance in life.
Other special presenters on the night included former great Steve Edge, NSWRL Performance Programs Manager Jamie Feeney, and Dragons Recruitment and Retention Manager Ben Haran.