Young players from local leagues are often scouted and looked upon by those from NRL clubs and for some, playing well and getting noticed is the start of the journey – so for Josh Chudleigh, a junior from Bungendore, the Cowboys will be his new home in 2014, after he signed a 1-year deal.
Having initially knocked a back an offer from the Canberra Raiders, Chudleigh has signed on with the North Queensland Cowboys U20’s side but does remain hopeful that with some hard work and determination, a first-grade opportunity may arise for him next year.
â€œItâ€™s a big move for one year but [the Cowboys] said when they signed me that they definitely see me in their future plans,â€ Chudleigh said.
â€œIâ€™m hoping to have a really good pre-season, hopefully play a bit of Queensland Cup and maybe even get the opportunity to play NRL next year.
â€œThere were a couple of offers from other clubs [including the Raiders] on the table but the Cowboys just showed a lot more interest.â€
For Canberra Raiders fans, the name might ring a bell, Chudleigh a part of the Raiders SG Ball side that made a charge to the grand final.
After that, however, Chudleigh decided to walk away from the game for 12 months before former Raiders player Simon Woolford – now coach of the Queanbeyan Blues – managed to convince him to come back and play rubgy league, where he enjoyed a stellar season.
â€œI donâ€™t think it was a case of the Raiders letting him get away,â€ Woolford said.
â€œThey offered him an opportunity but he decided it was the best thing for him to start at a new club.â€