One of the Brisbane Broncos most promising youngsters in Gerard Beale has received the nod from coach Ivan Henjak to assume the vacant centre role left by AFL bound Israel Folau.

Folau’s decision to leave for the AFL, and Greg Inglis’s decision to renege on a handshake agreement with the Broncos, paved the way for Beale to start, with Henjak still exploring other back-line options.

Beale, who is only 20 years of age is just one of many young, talented players the Broncos have capable of playing in the centres with Matt Gillett, Dane Gagai, Dale Copely, Alex Glenn and Ben Teo’o all capable of playing in the centres.

What impressed Henjak the most, was that the young Beale has taken his game to another level already despite it being early in the pre-season.

“I’m really happy with the pre-season,” declared Beale following a steamy field session.

“It’s the fittest, fastest and strongest I’ve ever been which gives me a lot of confidence for next year.”

Beale remains the fastest player at the Broncos over a 40 metre distance, and that bodes well for him to cement the vacant centre spot as his own.

“It’s not any record, there’s been faster guys come through the club, but I’ve got it for now anyway.

“The goal was to be stronger and faster than last year and I’ve managed to put on a few kilos and strip down some body fat so I feel better.”

Beale, who was a part of the Broncos first seven games in season 2010, played in the centres, on the wing and off the bench, before he suffered a knee injury.

The biggest struggle facing the young utility back was his defence, and he immediately sought to rectify the problem in the 2011 off-season.

“I know I can improve my defence and Ivan wants me to get my hands on the ball more which are things I’m working on,” he said.

Henjak is pleased with the development of the young players, and how well they’re training.

“Gerard’s flying at the moment but Jack Reed from Norths is going really well and putting on some pressure as is young Gagai,” Henjak said.

“We’ve got guys like Dane Carlaw, Alex Glenn, Ben Te’o and Matt Gillett who are all options.

“It’ll all unfold when we get close to the trials.

“Young Reed from the Queensland Cup hasn’t missed a beat, he looks like he’s been here for 10 years.

“Trial form is going to be crucial.

“Some guys are going to miss out and and they’ll be disappointed, it’ll be tough telling them in the first game.

“It’s a long season and as you saw last season injuries take their toll so those players have to be ready when the call comes.”

By ricky

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