Two Red Bend students are looking to football as a career with news they’ve been awarded Newcastle Knights scholarships.
Matt Woolnough and Billy Burns are taking their rugby league seriously, knowing the eyes of Newcastle Knights talent scouts are on them.
Matt Woolnough and Billy Burns, in Year 10, were spotted by talent scouts while trialling for the Western Combined Catholic Colleges team.
In January they attended the first of what will become regular training camps with three other country NSW students and eight New Zealand players.
“We had very intense strength and conditioning sessions, then we trained with the Harold Matthews squad – Newcastle’s under 16s,” Billy said.
The boys are thrilled with the opportunity they’ve been given to train with a professional squad.
“It’s a privilege,” Matt said.
“We know that we haven’t made it yet, but we’ve been given an opportunity to show what we have.”
Both had taken their football seriously, playing at representative level, but say they are focussing more on it since the scholarship offer.
“The training camp was a chance to compare ourselves, to see where we need to improve,” Billy said.
Long-term, they know they will have to keep playing competitive football to keep selectors’ interest.
“They want us to finish school, but after that we’ll look to move down there if we’re still playing good footy,” Matt said.
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