Keeping connected since the shock ending to the 2020 season has helped the Sydney Roosters Harold Matthews squad build a tight bond ahead of the 2021 NSWRL junior representative season.
Michael Abdow, who will co-captain the team with Vena Patuki-Case, said the young group has kept supporting each other after the 2020 season was suspended due to COVID-19, which has helped pay dividends since returning to training in November.
“It is a privilege to run out with the boys. I’ve been doing this for three years now and is something I hold close to me, and I’m glad I can run out with the boys and be a leader,” Abdow said.
“It was an abrupt end to the (2020) season. All the boys kept in contact and managed to keep training.
“We all had our ups and downs, but we are back for the 2021 season and we are ready to go.
“It’s one of the better things with Harold Matts. We are all so young and able to go out with each other and enjoy each other’s company, and train with each other.
“We trust each other a lot, and it is a really good bond we have here.”
Roosters great Mitchell Aubusson congratulated the players on making the squad, and presented them with their training gear last Saturday.
“Obviously he is a club legend and it is always good to have those sorts of people around a group of boys,” Abdow said.
“He gives us a lot of motivation, and all of us aspire to reach what he’s done for the club.”
The Roosters will field a Sydney and Central Coast team in the Harold Matthews competition in 2021.
The Sydney side had a good first trial against St George Dragons, while both teams recorded wins in the second week of trials.
One of the teams will get bragging rights in round four when the Central Coast Roosters host Sydney Roosters at Morry Breen Oval, Wyong.
After a tough pre-season to prepare for the new season, Abdow believes the hard work will pay off for his squad.
“I’m very confident in the boys, and I think we will definitely get the results that we want this season,” he said.
Central Coast start the season this Saturday against Balmain at Leichhardt Oval, while Sydney travel to Belmore to take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Round 1 - Saturday, February 6
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Sydney Roosters 11:30am at Belmore Sports Ground
Balmain Tigers v Central Coast Roosters 12:30pm at Leichhardt Oval
Round 2 – Saturday, February 13
Sydney Roosters v Illawarra Steelers 11:30am at Mascot Oval
Central Coast Roosters v Canterbury-Bankstown 2pm at Morry Breen Oval (Wyong)
Round 3 – Saturday, February 20
Western Suburbs Magpies v Central Coast Roosters 10:30am at Campbelltown Stadium
Bye: Sydney Roosters
Round 4 – Saturday, February 27
Central Coast Roosters v Sydney Roosters 11am at Morry Breen Oval (Wyong)
Round 5 – Saturday, March 6
Sydney Roosters v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 2:15pm at Bill Hicks Oval (Wyong)
Bye: Central Coast Roosters
Round 6 – Saturday, March 13
North Sydney Bears v Sydney Roosters 10:30am at Macquarie University Sports Fields
Central Coast Roosters v St George Dragons 11:30am at Morry Breen Oval (Wyong)
Round 7 – Saturday, March 20
Central Coast Roosters v Penrith Panthers 10:30am at Morry Breen Oval (Wyong)
Sydney Roosters v Western Suburbs Magpies 1:30pm at Morry Breen Oval (Wyong)
Round 8 – Saturday, March 27
Parramatta Eels v Sydney Roosters 11am at New Era Stadium
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Central Coast Roosters 11am at Metricon HP Centre (Redfern0
Round 9 – Saturday, April 3
Parramatta Eels v Central Coast Roosters 11am at New Era Stadium
Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders at 1pm Mascot Oval