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Brothers the Next Big Thing

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Brothers the Next Big Thing

    By Nick Walshaw | April 26, 2008
    The Next Big Thing(s) ... Liam Foran trains with Melbourne;
    a early family photo of the brothers; Kieran Foran trains
    at Manly. / The Daily Telegraph

    FOUR o'clock in the morning. An alarm sounds. Two brothers rolling out of their beds and straight into a huge pile of tracksuits, beanies, socks and jerseys. Dark, yep. Cold, bloody oath. "And on those mornings it was raining,'' Liam Foran smiles, "yeah, they were the best of all''.
    When finally ready to confront the wintry chill, Liam and younger brother Kieran push out the back door and into the crisp, dewy darkness.
    Two teenage boys driven by stories of their own heroes, the Johns brothers. Those Cessnock conjurers who passed over coal trucks and dunked leather Steedens into a bucket of soapy water to hone passing and catching skills.
    Old school efforts that create footballers, not athletes.
    And now before dawn the Foran boys get busy too.
    Running, flicking, chipping, floating.
    Assisted only by their own enthusiasm and the faint glow from two outdoor lights shining into the backyard.
    "But my brother and I, we loved being out there at stupid hours,'' Liam, now 19, continues. "Four o'clock, one o'clock, whatever. We wanted to be training when nobody else was. We wanted to be better than every kid our age.''
    Still do.
    Which is why, despite boasting zero NRL games between them, these Foran brothers are quietly emerging as rugby league's Next Big Thing.
    An amazing pair of Toyota Cup halves - Liam a halfback with Melbourne, Kieran a five-eighth at Manly - who are already being touted as future New Zealand internationals.
    Of course, when word got out that The Saturday Daily Telegraph was chasing their story, the natives grew restless.
    "You're not saying they're the next Johns boys are you?'' one club official spat. "You're not gunna lump these kids with the tag of being the next Joey.''
    No, we're not.
    But we can say the Forans have dedicated every waking minute of their lives to emulating those enchanting Newcastle playmakers Say too, that they're under surveillance from the Kiwis.
    Boasting an increasing fan base that includes Des Hasler, Dave Penna, Craig Bellamy, Stephen Kearney and the two Novocastrians they admire most.
    Right now, Liam is off-contract with half dozen clubs chasing his signature. Kieran, meanwhile, is signed at Manly until 2010.
    "Because they're both real talents,'' says Matthew Johns, who goes to Melbourne and Manly games early when working for Channel Nine just to see them play.
    "And I'd love to see them together in the halves. I don't know if it's possible but they'd really complement one another.''
    There is no doubting the Foran brothers boast that intimate bond which, according to Queensland great Kevin Walters "can never be taught''.
    A connection shared by the Johns boys, three Walters rogues and those unforgettable Mortimer and Hughes clans at Canterbury.
    "It's a gift,'' Steve Mortimer explains. "Peter and Chris will tell you the same. When I was going to dart, chip, throw a short pass, they just knew.''
    And this, more than anything else, is the Foran story.
    A refreshing New Zealand rookie yarn without the Mean Streets of Auckland tagline. Sure, Liam has that halfback swagger - "fancies himself a little'' laughs coach Brad Arthur - but that's where the urban gangsta comparisons end.
    These boys grew up, for example, on Sydney's north shore after moving across the ditch nine years ago.
    The old man is general manager of Big W. Their family home boasting tennis court and swimming pool. Oh, and did anyone mention they're white?
    "Yeah, definitely in the minority,'' laughs Kieran, still only 17. "I mean, there are plenty of Islander and Maori boys in the NRL but I can only think of two or three white Kiwis.''
    And that's something this pair are determined to rectify.
    Have been since childhood when, along with best mate and now Roosters No.7 Mitchell Pearce, they trained three times a day.
    "Even when Kieran arrived at Manly he was still playing three games a week,'' Toyota Cup coach Dave Penna smiles. "We had to slow him down or he would've been dead by 20.''
    Enthusiasm, passion, dedication, all born during those chilly pre-dawn training sessions. So too a bond that not even 861km can separate.
    It's why these guys talk footy three times a day over the phone, swap DVD footage of games, even boast lounge units overflowing with identical tapes of the Johns brothers in action.
    "Whenever we trained after school,'' Kieran recalls, "we always worked on plays that best suited our combination.''
    And so now everyone waits.
    Waiting for these boys to crack the NRL. Waiting to see which one moves first.
    And waiting to see a halves combination which, Johns suggests, could really be "something special''.
    "Eventually, yeah, we want to go somwhere as a package deal,'' Liam smiles. "Because that bond between us is just so strong. Always has been. Even now I watch those tapes Keiran sends and know exactly what he's going to do with the ball in his hands. Know even before it happens.''
    Hmmmm ... sound familiar?
  2. Stiffi

    Stiffi Active Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +118 /0
    Hopefully this is why Manly have been quiet on the 5/8 front, I'm hoping we have already signed him up!!
  3. Fluffy

    Fluffy Well-Known Member

    +5,631 /205
    the one things we dont improve if attacking skills here.

    These guys already have that, they just need the rest of the package to be cemented in.

    They could well be a long term nucleus worth building a team around. Definitely worth a shot.
  4. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

    +4 /0
    Haha, Zorba. Relax big fella.

    Good story though. The Foran boys will both be very good first graders and I do hope they get the chance to play together (ideally at Manly).
  5. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member

    +215 /5
    Good young talent is great but these guys are still very young. Sounds like they have the work ethic and future goals. There is a lot of water to go  under the bridge until they are first graders though and league is littered with the "next big thing" who didn't make it. They need to be treated appropriately for their stage.
  6. Garts

    Garts Well-Known Member

    +844 /25
    Hopefully Manly throw some cash at Liam, surely we must be attractive for him.  His brother is here, Orford 1 year left on his contract, no other 5/8 putting their hand up, grew up here compared to Melbourne with Cronk and Inglis in the halves.  Can not see a immediate path into 1st grade there.
  7. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

    +1,324 /37
    It'll be my first chance to see a few of these guys go round on Fox this afternoon.

    Hopefully they can live up to half their hype.
  8. Fluffy

    Fluffy Well-Known Member

    +5,631 /205
    I have seen Keiren a few times now and he has talent, as does his partner in the halves Dale Cherry-Evans.

    Its a big step up from there though but the way our stocks look we need to be getting what we can.

    Just remember that its the 1,6,7&9 that touch the ball the most and we, like last year are still missing a 6
  9. SilentBob

    SilentBob Well-Known Member

    +4 /0
    Manly seems like the ideal club for both of them, both halves spots will be wide open after next season, only negative for them I can see is Des generally doesn't stick anyone in firsts until they're 43.
  10. ants

    ants Active Member

    +12 /1
    either that or he will play them out of position!!  He seems to like playing international centres at 5/8th and halfbacks at hooker!!

    Great article though, and hopefully we do get the package.
  11. King

    King Active Member

    +98 /5
    Looks like they will get their wish at some stage next year ;)
  12. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    LOL I was wondering when I posted that
  13. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +516 /14
    Let's hope they don't like doing drugs and initiating gang-bangs like the Johns family.
  14. Volley

    Volley Well-Known Member

    +1,109 /54
    Lol at all the anti-Lyon hate at 5/8.

    Yo gimps, we won the comp 40-0 you speds.
  15. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

    +1,476 /8
    Jesus Mata. LOL. Is it the off season ? I think it must be.
  16. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +516 /14
    Jesus Mata. LOL. Is it the off season ? I think it must be.
    [/quote] Is there any untruth in what I said?
  17. Rusty

    Rusty Well-Known Member

    +45 /0
    Jesus Mata. LOL. Is it the off season ? I think it must be.
    [/quote] Is there any untruth in what I said?

    No. All true, possibly the tone that got him that's all. The problem with the Johns brothers was that everyone told them they were so good, and the world centered on them, someone needs to keep these boys grounded. Hopefully some of the senior players will come around them and help them stay grounded.
  18. EagleRock40

    EagleRock40 Well-Known Member

    +211 /4
    Rusty, good point...maybe Liam believed all the hype a couple seasons back which is why he hasn't gone on to be a consistent NRL player. From what  I believe the NZ hierachy wern't too impressed when he publicly said he would be NZ long term halfback when Stacey Jones retired, which is a reason for the falling out at the Warriors. Their is definately a place in our 17 next year for him, either 7 or 14.
  19. Ryan

    Ryan Well-Known Member

    +9,392 /402
    Now all they both need to do, is learn how to change a tire on a car !! Gold. They know what I'm talking about.
  20. Masked Eagle

    Masked Eagle Well-Known Member

    +976 /0
    I really can't understand the enthusiasm some people are having for player who really is close to a pity signing.  No other club really wants him and some people are pencilling him to be an important part of first grade next year.  I wonder if people would be having the same opinions if his last name wasn't Foran.

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