Ten years. What a ride it’s been for the National Youth Competition (NYC). So, as we draw the final curtain, it’s worth reflecting back on Parra’s journey. For those who stay to the end of this post, a special video awaits you.
So where did it all start?
In 2008, the Jersey Flegg Cup (under 19’s competition), administered by the NSWRL, was revamped as a National Under 20’s competition administered by the NRL.
For those of us old enough to remember going to the footy “back in the day”, we had the pleasure of watching three grades. An Under 23’s match (at various times over the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s we had Third Grade and even The President’s Cup) was followed by Reserve Grade and then first grade. We enjoyed trying to pick out the stars of the future, watching them make their way through the grades.
The NYC became the new part of this pathway, with the difference being the work or study component that went alongside the playing commitments. Furthermore, the profile of the competition was raised as it assumed curtain-raiser status and received subscription television coverage through Fox Sports.
In 2008, the initial Eels NYC squad was as follows: Mitchell Allgood, Jason Baitieri, David Baumann, Nathan Campbell, Shaun Cox, Jay Hemming, Trent Hodkinson, Justin Hunt, Kris Keating, Taniela Lasalo, Joel Latham, Luke Latham, Mase Laulu Togagae, Owen Lauofo, Martin Lewis, Ben McLennan, John Mannah, Tim Mannah, Anthony Mitchell, Fareni Moefaauo, Daniel Mortimer, Luke Mottinelli, Dom Nasso, Tim Robinson, Sonny Taputoa Rea, Taulima Tautai, Ken TeWhata and Tony Williams.
Tim Mannah had the honour of being the first captain of the NYC team, with Matt Cameron the inaugural coach.
The first match, Saturday, March 14, saw the Eels play the Canterbury Bulldogs and emerge victorious 30-24 .
|Parramatta Eels (30)||Canterbury Bulldogs (24)|
|1||Domenic NASSO||1||Jimmy FAWCETT|
|2||Ben McLENNAN||2||Nathan TANNOUS|
|3||Taputoa REA||3||Heka NANAI|
|4||Mase LAULU TOGAGAE||4||Sene TALA|
|5||Shaun COX||5||Mason PURE|
|6||Kris KEATING||6||Ben BARBA|
|7||Daniel MORTIMER||7||Josh REYNOLDS|
|8||Tim MANNAH (c)||8||Malcolm LEAENO|
|9||Anthony MITCHELL||9||Nathan SMITH|
|10||Jonathan MANNAH||10||Robert WORSLEY|
|11||Tim ROBINSON||11||Harlan ALAALATOA|
|12||Tony WILLIAMS||12||Daniel HARRISON|
|13||David BAUMANN||13||Jake FOSTER|
|14||Luke MOTTINELLI||14||Rhys JACK|
|15||Luke LATHAM||15||Liam ROACH|
|16||Taniela LASALO||16||Nathan DIB|
|17||Mitchell ALLGOOD||17||Sione KITE|
|Kris KEATING (2)||Ben BARBA (2)|
|Domenic NASSO||Jake FOSTER|
|Luke LATHAM||Rhys JACK|
|Taputoa REA||Sene TALA|
|Tony WILLIAMS (4/5)||Ben BARBA (2/5)|
|Daniel MORTIMER (1/1)|