St George Illawarra Dragons winger Tom Carr confesses it has only recently sunk in that he is on the verge of potentially fulfilling a lifelong dream.
The local Helensburgh Tigers junior is in the midst of his first pre-season with the first-grade squad having graduated from the Club’s National Youth Competition ranks last season.
Carr admits the idea of potentially playing first-grade some day is a thought that he relishes and is hopeful of making inroads with a strong display during the team’s upcoming bloc of pre-season fixtures.
The flanker would like to test himself in the annual NRL Nines tournament taking place on Saturday, February 6-Sunday, February 7 or, if not, in the traditional Charity Shield fixture against the South Sydney Rabbitohs a week later.
“It probably kicked-in about three or four weeks ago when we went on the holiday period break and I spent time with my family that I started thinking about the fact that I could achieve my dream of playing for the Dragons,” said Carr.
“I never really thought I would get this shot as playing for the Under 20’s last season was my first crack at professional footy.
“To get this far at least has surpassed where I thought I would ever end up.
“Training has been crazy and the coaching staff are presently trying to get me fitter and put on more weight at the same time which is tough but I’ve got to put my body through it to get ready for the next stage whether that’s playing for the Illawarra Cutters or first-grade.
“A couple of the older guys like Peter Mata’utia and Josh Dugan have helped me as they both play in similar positions to me.
“It’s also been good with Jason Nightingale returning in recent weeks as being an international player he has a lot to teach and I have a lot to learn.
“For me personally I would love a shot at the NRL Nines but if not there’s a few other trials including the Charity Shield if that’s possible.
“Any trial would be good as it would provide a platform to show what I can do against better opposition that what I was previously up against in the Under 20’s.”