Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School student Jack Todd has the chance to follow in the footsteps of former students Alan Tongue and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs after landing a contract with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs that allows him to stay at home and develop his football skills.
Last week, the Bulldogs announced an exciting partnership with the Greater Northern region which will create a new representative development pathway for participants in Groups 4, 19 and 21.
Dungowan Cowboys player Todd has attended two training camps with the Bulldogs in Sydney and acknowledged the new partnership is important for players like himself because they can stay close to home for longer.
“It was really good being down at Belmore for training around the NRL players and coaches,” Todd said.
“It’ll be good being able to stay at home for my last two years of school and get the Bulldogs coaches helping out.
“I’ll be learning a lot and developing my skills.”
Todd played for the Greater Northern Tigers in the Laurie Daley Cup this year and in the Andrew Johns Cup and NSW Country Under-16’s sides last year and says he is looking to remain part of the CRL Junior Representative pathway.
“Hopefully if I perform well on the weekends I will play for the Greater Northern Tigers in the Laurie Daley Cup again next year because it is a great program and that might lead me to making the NSW Country side.”
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Recruitment Officer Mark Hughes is thrilled with the new partnership and says the opportunity to be part of an NRL club pathway without having to leave home is extremely beneficial for Todd’s development.
“Jack is the one of the best young front row prospects that I’ve seen for a while,” Hughes said.
“Once on scholarship or contract with the Bulldogs, the elite boys in the Greater Norther Region will receive similar best practice development that we provide for our local Canterbury juniors.
“Jack is already performing to an above average level, enjoying his footy with his club and school mates and has Mum and Dad’s support just two hours away on their farming property.
“We simply want him to be fully prepared to hit the ground running when he joins our Jersey Flegg Squad after his HSC commitments.”
In his 11-year playing history, Hughes notched a total of 178 games for Canterbury and believes the agreement with the Greater Northern Region aligns with the culture that has been built at Bulldogs.
“As a Canterbury kid, I was part of our club’s well-documented family culture and we were taught to be tough, disciplined, have integrity and know what it meant to contribute to the club whilst pursuing your individual goals.
“We certainly want to make sure our new breeding ground gets a strong taste of our family culture and what it means to become a Bulldog player.
“We will be providing the guidance and direction to give elite boys like Jack every chance to succeed, whilst assisting them with their maturity to accept ultimate responsibility to control their own destiny.”
Todd will attend a Bulldogs training camp in Sydney this week before lining up for Dungowan when the Group 4 Rugby League season kicks-off on Saturday, 4th May.