With lessons learned from a pre-season training alongside the Sharks NRL squad, coupled with his skill and physical ability, it was hoped Sam Stonestreet could deliver when going back to compete in the under-19 SG Ball competition.
A winger-fullback with size, speed and not frightened to get in the middle of the field to mix it with the big boys, Stonestreet certainly did produce, leading the way for his team, while scoring seven tries in eight matches and deservedly claiming the Sharks SG Ball Player of the Year.
Now, in further recognition of his standout SG Ball season, Stonestreet has been named the Sharks Junior Representative Player of the Year, joining a list of illustrious former winners.
As explained by the Sharks Development and Pathways Manager Glenn Brailey, Stonestreet being bestowed with prestigious honour was a just reward for an outstanding 2021 season.
“Sam had a great 2021 season, one which saw him develop into a much more complete player. He has continued to grow and develop year on year,” Brailey said.
“Sam completed his first NRL pre-season will the club last year, which provided him the confidence to develop as a player and person.
“He challenged himself amongst the senior NRL players, then his fellow team mates during the SG Ball season and he certainly enjoyed some great moments throughout the year.
“Sam has great potential in the game but just as importantly is a great young man to have at our club. He fits the standards, values and culture at the Sharks which places him in a strong position to succeed and to go onto bigger and better things,” Brailey added.
Sharks SG Ball Coach George Ndaira agreed with Brailey’s assessment that Stonestreet’s ability, commitment and drive to succeed has him destined for a bright future.
“Sam's success this year was a clear reflection of the effort and passion he took onto the field,” Ndaira said.
“His success was not an accident. It was the result of his high attention to detail, effort and skilful execution.”
A local product from the De La Salle Caringbah club and involved in the Sharks junior rep and academy system since the under 16’s Matthews Cup, Stonestreet will move into the Jersey Flegg squad in 2022.
He will also train with the NRL full-time training group during the summer pre-season.
Former winners of the Sharks Junior Rep player of the year include Blayke Brailey, Teig Wilton, Connor Tracey, Chad Townsend and before that the likes of Luke Douglas, Cameron Ciraldo, Matt Hilder, Barry Russell and current Sharks Jersey Flegg coach Andrew Dallalana.