This weekend marks ‘Play NRL Round’ which encourages people from six to sixty and beyond, to sign up to enjoy their local footy – whether it be playing; coaching; volunteering; or refereeing.
We caught up with proud local juniors, Jake and Tom Trbojevic, about their time playing junior league.
Jake Trbojevic laughs when he talks about the time he chased down his brother, Tom, in a junior rugby league match.
“Tom was playing under 6s for our junior club, Mona Vale Raiders, and the other team was short of players for this particular game,’’ Jake recalls.
“Even though I was two years older, I jumped in to help the other team out so they could play.
“Tom would often make breaks but every time he did in this game, I would chase him down and tackle him easily. He knew it too."
His story was confirmed by his younger brother.
“I use to score a few tries in most games but not in this one. I remember coming off the field crying after Jake got me,’’ Tom said, smiling.
For Jake, it is a story he is proud of, considering he wouldn’t be able to repeat the feat today given Tom’s electrifying pace and Jake is now a workhorse forward.
The Trbojevic brothers speak fondly of their junior club, the Mona Vale Raiders – a club that the family have given so much to over the years.
Their parents are proud Life Members and continue to help out. Just as the brothers do in between their NRL commitments.
“I loved playing junior league for Mona Vale. I started in the under 7s. We had great fun and a guy named Steve Wilson was my first coach,'' Jake said.
“It’s funny now, but I was really nervous for my first game. I didn’t want to go on.
“The great thing about junior league is you make so many good friendships.”
As for Tom, he was just as keen to pull on the Mona Vale Raiders jersey.
“My earliest memories are of sitting on the sidelines and watching Jake play as I was to young at the time to play myself,’’ Tom said.
“Playing junior league was great, I made so many friends who remain mates today. I also use to love playing in the grand finals at Brookvale Oval. It was always exciting as a kid to do that.”
And just like they did for Mona Vale, the brothers will run onto Brookvale Oval again on Monday night. This time, though, on the same side against the Cronulla Sutherland Shark