Young front-rower David Klemmer’s rise to representative player has been one that many have watched closely and a key ingredient to the Bulldogs forward pack has been one of dedication, commitment and hard work.
After debuting in round one of the 2013 season and managing four games in that year, the All Saints Toongabbie junior has become one of the most improved players in 2015 and one of the Bulldogs best.
He played 23 games in 2014 for the Bulldogs including a Grand Final appearance, a City Origin game and to cap off the year, he was rewarded with his first Kangaroos jersey, a moment he will forever remember.
“I was very honoured to put that jersey on and I took it with both hands the opportunity I was given,” Klemmer said.
Before a ball was even kicked to start the 2015 season, Klemmer sat down with Bulldogs.com.au to outline what he wanted to achieve in 2015 and what he wanted to build on, after ending the 2014 season with a green and gold jersey.
“I just want to start the year well and get back to that consistent footy, do my job on the field and help the boys out.
“I just love going out there each week and doing my best and play rugby league.”
So simple, yet so effective.
Well that consistent footy, knowing your role and doing your job has helped his transformation in 2015 from a player who played all 23 games in 2014 from the bench averaging only 23.9 minutes per game to one of the most explosive forwards in the game who now averages 41.7 minutes a game.
A large portion of his matches in 2015 have seen him start from the bench, but he has on four occasions started in the front-row position and left a lasting impression on plenty of people.
The development and rise of Klemmer from 2014 to 2015 has impressed many and the stats don’t lie.
He has ran for over 200 metres on three occasions this year, has taken his average minutes per game from 23.9 to 41.7, averages 14 runs and 144 metres per game now compared to 8 runs and 85 metres in 2014, averages 21 tackles per game in 2015 compared to 11 in 2014 and has decreased the amount of errors he has made this year from five to two, so what does the talented front-rower put it down to?
“I think I have a lot more confidence this year.
“My teammates Aiden Tolman and James Graham have been a real boost for my career and I absolutely love playing with these two blokes. I’m just enjoying my footy at the moment.”
The season has been a real highlight for Klemmer to date, with another City Origin jersey and his first taste of State of Origin.
Klemmer was the breakout star of this year's State of Origin series, rubbing many Queenslanders the wrong way throughout, and with the Bulldogs in the hunt to cement their spot in the top eight, the no-nonsense Klemmer will play a crucial part.
Head Coach Des Hasler was impressed with the way Klemmer handled the Origin experience, but knows there is a lot still for the front-rower to learn.
"It's been a great experience for Dave. He doesn't overcomplicate things, which is the most refreshing thing about him…Dave just gets on there and gets the job done," Hasler said.
"He knows there are still parts of his game he needs to address though and that's the exciting thing about watching a young player such as David come through the ranks.
“Origin has been really good for him and he'll build on that.”
There are only four weeks until the finals begin and after another standout performance in round 22 against the Brisbane Broncos with 21 carries for 236 metres in 45 minutes, it’s exciting times ahead for him and the Bulldogs.