READY: Bulldogs youngster Moses Mbye.
READY: Bulldogs youngster Moses Mbye. ROBB COXAAP

Mbye’s mentors remain hopeful he will shine with in final

MOSES Mbye's father figure says the 21-year-old Canterbury Bulldog will shine if he plays in Sunday's NRL grand final against South Sydney.

Noosa's John Wilson took a then 14-year-old Mbye into his home every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday night for four years during the football season as a favour to the boy's mother, Kay.

Mbye's biological father moved to Australia in the late 1980s from Gambia, west Africa. Since he was a toddler, Mbye has had no contact with his father.

When he was growing up, his mother had her hands full with two other young children so Wilson, whose two young boys, Blake and Chance, also played for Noosa, gave Moses a bed.

It was a good fit for Mbye, who was coached and taken to training and games by Wilson.

"My kids were six and two and he was like a big brother and still is today," Wilson said.

"He was a big influence on my kids (now 10 and 14) and basically showed them that dedication will get you where you want to go."

Mbye was blessed with both athleticism and academic prowess.

He regularly received As and Bs and was never in trouble.

"There was no crap in him," Wilson said. "I had a bloke ring fishing for dirt on Moses today, but with Moses there is no dirt.

"He was very thoughtful and just a good kid and was always prepared to help all the other little kids.

"He always oozed talent and could read the play and be in the right spot at the right time, every time."

Mbye will need to draw on all his skills in Sunday's grand final if he replaces injured Bulldogs captain Michael Ennis (broken foot).

Ennis is highly unlikely to recover in time.

Mbye was named yesterday on an extended bench.

"He will play, Ennis is gone," said Wilson, who spoke to Mbye on Monday.

"You wouldn't know what Dessie Hasler was thinking or where he will play him, but he will play.

"The pressure doesn't faze him and that is just the composure of the kid and he takes it in his stride."

Whatever the result on Sunday, the Wilson family will be ecstatic if Mbye takes the field.

"I am as proud as punch of him," Wilson said.

"Am I like a father, uncle, I don't know? We are just good mates."

Ennis said yesterday that he would need a "miracle" to play.

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