South Sydney Rabbitohs young recruit Jesse Martin is looking to put his best foot forward for the North Sydney Bears after being named starting hooker for Friday's trial match against Newcastle Knights.
The Bears will play their first trial game at Redfern Oval in 2018, coming off a 12-12 draw against a strong Wentworthville Magpies side at Ringrose Park last week.
While just a trial match, this game should have plenty of bite. The Bears are looking to get one over the Knights, who knocked them out of the finals last year and Martin is looking to use this match as another stepping stone towards his dream.
“Everyone’s goal is to play NRL but I’ve come here to develop as a player and play consistent football.”
“Hopefully I can play as many Intrust Super Premiership games as possible to do my best this season to show what I’ve got.”
As the Captain of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Under 20s side that went all the way in 2017, Martin already has shown the leadership skills and maturity levels that are needed for the next jump in his career. He says his experience training with Rabbitohs first team have only increased those assets.
“I’ve learnt heaps from being around all the first grade players and it’s extremely helpful when I go back to Bears training,” said Martin.
“I’m quite shy in the first grade training but when I train with the Bears and the younger boys in both the ISP and Jersey Flegg team I’m more prominent. I show them what we’ve learned and just help out and give a few pointers here and there.”
The young forward admits he has has felt the difference in the step up from the under 20s but believes the tough work can only make him a better player.
“I’m doing two or three days with first grade and then two or three days with the Bears,” said Martin. “It’s been tough coming from the 20’s. It’s a slower game but the hits are much harder with bigger bodies there.
“But the more games I play the better I will get and the tougher standards will help me rise faster to where I want to be this season.”
North Sydney Bears v Newcastle Knights
When: Friday 16 February, 7pm Kick off
Where: Redfern Oval