Friday night’s season opener against the Newcastle Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium will see 26-year old Brad Deitz make his NRL debut.
Deitz currently on a train and trial contract with the Bulldogs arrived at Belmore through the club’s partnership with Mounties, who the hooker joined having spent last season with the North Sydney Bears.
The Cabramatta junior and crafty number nine was working as a teacher a month ago and had to take a break from his education duties to train with the club on a full-time basis.
“Up until three weeks ago I was full-time teaching and I had to put that aside to take my chance here and train with the boys. It’s an opportunity I couldn’t pass up and I’m glad I have taken it in the end,” Deitz said.
His decision to focus on his footy has paid off with a first-grade debut at the age of 26 thanks to his determination and commitment, as well as an injury to Jeremy Marshall-King.
He is not a member of the club’s Top 30 squad or Development list, but to be allowed to play on Friday night, the club applied for an exemption to be given to select him this week for the Knights match.
Deitz featured in the trial against the Cronulla Sharks, playing in the latter part of the match and impressing all involved at the club with his involvement and impact with the limited game time he had.
There is no doubting rugby league loves its young stars, but there is still a place in the greatest game of all for any player to show age is no barrier to achieving a dream if you put in the work. Deitz’s first grade debut has been a long time coming.
“It just goes to show that if you really have your sights set on something and you have goals, then you can achieve it. It doesn’t matter how old you are, as long as you keep sticking to it and you’ve got the determination, you can still get there. The extra long wait I have had is making it a little bit more special than it would be if I had have got it a little earlier. I’m really looking forward to it,” Deitz added.
The latest NRL debutant will line up alongside five club debutants in Corey Allan, Nick Cotric, Kyle Flanagan, Jack Hetherington and Corey Waddell on Friday night.
Date of Birth: 9-3-1995
Junior Club: Cabramatta
Place of Birth: Sydney
Match: Knights v Bulldogs
Round 1 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle