Saturday’s 33rd Charity Shield is shaping as an opportunity for a number of new faces at the Rabbitohs, many of whom will wear the red and green for the very first time in a 13-a-side clash.
With Greg Inglis, Thomas Burgess and Adam Reynolds away on All Star duty, while a number of other Rabbitohs put the finishing touches on their pre-season preparations, new faces such as Michael Oldfield, Hymel Hunt, Damien Cook and more, will represent the Club with pride in the traditional clash.
Souths centre, Bryson Goodwin, told Rabbitohs.com.au that he is looking forward to seeing the Club’s new contingent in action.
“We’re missing a few, sure, but a few newer and young guys will get a shot,” said Goodwin.
“They’ll be given the chance to show what they’ve got and that just feeds back into the excitement around the place at the moment.
“Those younger boys bring a lot of enthusiasm and to get that chance in the Charity Shield – it’s one of the biggest trial matches you can play in.
“I remember getting my first start in this game and it was a really special moment, so I’m sure it’ll be no different for them.”
The enthusiasm hasn’t been confined to the Club’s new brigade though, with Goodwin pointing to a marked spike in excitement at Redfern as regular 13 a side football edges closer.
“The boys are all excited – I’m excited,” said Goodwin.
“Everyone’s just looking forward to playing after a long pre-season. There’s a lot of energy around the place at the moment.
“For us it’s pretty much the start of the footy season. A few of us obviously had a few games in the Nines last week, but it’s a bit different playing 13 a side. It all starts now.”
Goodwin was this week named at centre by Head Coach, Michael Maguire, and will play alongside new recruit, Hymel Hunt in the centres, with Aaron Gray, John Olive and Michael Oldfield making up a speedy back three.
Season 2015 saw Goodwin enjoy one of his best seasons yet in the Red and Green jumper, culminating in Members voting for him to become the Roy Asotasi Members’ Choice Award winner in an online poll that ran until late September. Players who played 10 or more first grade games throughout the regular NRL season were eligible for the award.
Goodwin appeared in all 25 Rabbitohs matches in season 2015, amassing a total of 2554 metres with the ball in hand on his way to scoring six tries. The Kiwi representative also made 308 tackles, seven line-breaks and 11 offloads.
The former Bulldogs is now looking to build on that season in 2016 by nailing down a centre position.
“Centre is where I feel I’m most comfortable and that’s where I’m playing this week,” said Goodwin.
“Every year, every game, I just try to get better. I’ll be trying to build on last year and really focus on get all the little things right in my game.”