MANLY have won the race to sign one of Australia's most promising young athletes - a freakishly talented 15-year-old with dreams of running at the Olympics and playing NRL.
Star recruit: Josh Robinson at home with his Mum and Dad (Chrissy and Andrew Robinson) has just won 5 Gold medals in the Junior Atheltics in Sydney, and has now signed with Manly Sea Eagles NRL team. Picture: Martinelli David Source: The Sunday Telegraph
Toowoomba speed machine Joshua Robinson won an extraordinary five gold medals in the national junior championships at Homebush last week in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m and 4x400m.
His time of 49.41sec in the 400m is "absolutely outstanding" according to colleague and athletics guru Mike Hurst.
"To win five gold medals at this level is just freakish," Hurst said.
Manly's recruitment boss Noel "Crusher" Cleal signed the Aboriginal flyer after watching him run at Homebush. It followed a recommendation from the Sea Eagles' Queensland-based talent scout Graham Champnee.
The Broncos, Titans and Cowboys were desperately trying to sign the brilliant young fullback, who has a striking resemblance to a young Greg Inglis.
Robinson plays rugby league for his school, club at representative level and was also selected in the Queensland under-14 merit team.
"You've got to grab a kid like this at 15 or other clubs will beat you to it," Cleal told The Sunday Telegraph.
"We're not going to rush him or put any pressure on him to make a choice between his sports. He'll come down to train with our NRL squad in June to get a feel of the club.
"We understand his immediate goal is to go to the world junior championships in London next year and we're happy to support him."
Robinson said he chose Manly ahead of their NRL rivals because the club was so relaxed about him continuing his dream of running at an Olympic Games.
"I want to qualify for the world youths next year and at the moment it looks like I'll get there with the times I'm doing," he said.
"I play club and rep league in Toowoomba at the moment, but I'm thinking about having a year off next year to concentrate on running.
"At the moment, athletics is number one.
"I'd love to make the Olympics and then see what happens. I could play in the NRL after that.
"I signed with Manly because they were happy for me to do athletics over league at this stage of my life.
"Melinda Gainsford-Taylor being on the Manly board helped, too. She'll be an inspiration to me."
Robinson signed a three-year deal with the Sea Eagles and is considering moving to Sydney to go to school on the northern beaches next year.
He is also a beautifully polite youngster, who insisted on thanking those who have helped him in sport.
"Before you go, do you mind mentioning a few people in the story," he asked. "My parents, Graham Champnee [the talent scout] for helping with my signing and my coach, Neil McCoy. And Crusher for going over to Homebush to watch and support me. I'd like to thank them all."