The Illawarra Steelers' junior representative teams recently held their annual presentation evening to celebrate a successful year in which all three teams made the finals in their respective NSWRL competitions.
The evening was attended by players, staff, Dragons coach Paul McGregor, representatives of the Steelers and St George Illawarra boards as well as an extremely large contingent of parents.
The Under-16s Harold Matthews side made the finals and went out in a close encounter to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. NRL player and Steelers alumnus Zac Lomax was on hand to present the awards, alongside coach Ben Linde.
The Coach's Award was presented to dynamic half Talatau Amone. The talented junior was also recently selected in the NSW CHS open team, despite being two years younger than a number of other players.
The Harold Mathews Player of the Year went to hard-working prop Josh Coric.
Former Tarsha Gale Cup player Rikeya Horne was also in attendance to present the awards to the Under-18s female team.
Since playing for the Steelers in 2017, Rikeya has gone on to represent New South Wales Country and the Jillaroos as well as signed with the Dragons for the upcoming NRL Holden Women's Premiership.
Horne and coach Daniel Lacey presented the Coach's Award to Hannah England. Hannah has travelled from Ulladulla the last two seasons and her ongoing improvement and commitment to the team has been recognised by all those involved.
The Tarsha Gale Player of the Year, named in honour of South Coast product Kezie Apps (who unfortunately couldn't attend due to her State of Origin commitments with NSW) was awarded to Maddison Weatherall.
Dragons coach McGregor spoke with the crowd before assisting Under-18s SG Ball coaches Jonathan Dallas and Matthew O’Brien with the presentations of awards for the 2018 season.
McGregor's attendance reinforces the Dragons' commitment to the local juniors within the area and the junior representative pathways.
The SG Ball Coaches Award recipient was Bailey Antrobus, who filled a number of roles within the team. Antrobus's form was a redeeming one of sorts after he missed the entire 2017 season due to injury.
The Rick Posetti award for SG Ball Player of the Year was awarded to livewire half Jayden Sullivan. Jayden was a standout player throughout the season, constantly sparking his teams attack and individually scoring a number of spectacular tries.