One arrived as a 16-year-old, the other not long after, with the hard work and perseverance about to come to fruition for Jackson Ferris and Braydon Trindall when they make their NRL debuts for the Sharks in the round 12 clash with the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
The pair, who have come through the Sharks development and pathway system, become the third and fourth players this year, and the ninth and 10th over the past two seasons, to have played their first games at an NRL level at the Cronulla club.
Ferris, an outside back, came to the Sharks from New Zealand and the rugby union heartland of Palmerston North, looking to forge a career in the alternative code, immediately making an impression for Cronulla’s SG Ball team.
A member of the successful Sharks Championship-winning SG Ball team in 2015, the now 22-year-old Ferris progressed through the ranks and landed at the Newtown Jets in 2019, becoming a major contributor to that club’s dual State and National Grand Final victories last year.
It was Ferris, right place, right time, who pounced on a Billy Magoulias chip kick in the closing moments of the National Championship game against Burleigh, before sprinting 50-metres to score the match-winner.
Ferris was also a member of the 2018 Junior Kiwi squad, playing for his country of birth in a Test against the Junior Kangaroos at Mt Smart Stadium in October of that year.
In coming into the Sharks team for their game in Brisbane tonight for the injured Jesse Ramien, Ferris becomes Shark 541 and puts his name alongside the long and illustrious list of players to have represented the Cronulla club in the top grade.
By virtue of his listed number in the official team sheet, it will be Trindall one place ahead of his friend and teammate Ferris when he is adorned with Shark number 540 after his debut match in the NRL tonight.
Originally from the northern NSW town of Wee Waa, but having learnt his football playing as a junior at Caboolture on the Sunshine Coast, Trindall was discarded by the Storm after a season in the Holden Cup under-20’s for the Melbourne club before being snapped up by the Sharks.
An influential member of the champion Sharks Jersey Flegg team of 2018, Trindall was pitched into senior rugby league with Newtown in the Canterbury Cup last year despite still being eligible for the under-20’s competition.
Like Ferris, Trindall had a hand in the success of the Jets, kicking a late penalty goal from long range to level the scores in the Canterbury Cup Grand Final against Wentworthville, before Newtown would go on to snatch victory in extra time.
It will be something of a happy homecoming for Trindall, who played in the Queensland under-20s side last year and in a memorable occasion for a proud Aboriginal man will make his debut during the NRL’s Indigenous Round celebrations.
Predominantly a half back, with ability to fill in at hooker, Trindall has been named on the interchange bench for tonight’s game.
BRAYDON TRINDALL – Fact File - SHARK #540
Born – July 11, 1999 – Wee Waa, NSW
Junior Club – Caboolture Snakes
Height – 180cm
Weight – 88kgs
Rep Honours – Qld Under 20’s 2019
JACKSON FERRIS – Fact File - SHARK #541
Born – February 25, 1998 – Palmerston North, NZ
Junior Clubs - Kia Ora Warriors and Gymea Gorillas
Height – 178cm
Weight – 90kgs
Rep Honours – Junior Kiwis 2018