After a long and arduous season, one where the likes of Daniel Vasquez have been slogging it out at training without the opportunity to play official games on the weekend, the local junior finally gets his shot tomorrow when the Sharks take on the Raiders.
From the St Josephs and Yarrawarrah clubs in the Sutherland Shire local junior league, Vasquez will become the Sharks 542nd First Grade player after being elevated into the Cronulla side for Saturday night’s game.
Coach John Morris made the announcement at a team meeting prior to their final training session this morning, with the reaction showing Vasquez’s popularity amongst the group and their appreciation for the work he had put in throughout a difficult 2020 season.
“The reaction speaks volumes for how all the boys respect you,” Morris said when announcing his inclusion. “As a coaching staff we said hard work and effort would never go unrewarded.
“I know its taken until round 20, but whenever I’ve spoken to you, as late as Tuesday this week, you’ve always had that steely look and said ‘Bomber I won’t let you down, I won’t let the team down’. You’ve been team first all year, never complaining, and you’ve earnt this,” Morris added.
The 23-year-old Vasquez has come through the Sharks development system, beginning in Matthews Cup, progressing through SG Ball, where he was a member of the Cronulla team to win State and National championships in 2015 and was named player of the match in his side’s win over Souths in the Under-18’s Ball Final.
From there Vasquez played in the Sharks Jersey Flegg team, under now NRL head coach John Morris, before graduating to senior rugby league and the Canterbury Cup with the Newtown Jets where he was a part of their 2019 duel championship success.
Vasquez, who also represented NSW Origin under 18’s, has been confirmed as a part of the Sharks 17-man team, with Morris to announce his team changes later today.
Daniel Vasquez Fact File
Born: July 21, 1997, Bankstown, NSW
Junior Club: St Jospephs/Yarrawarrah Tigers