Rep selection has Seagulls youngster primed to play

ON THE RISE: Expect big things from Seagulls second-rower Nathan Hoey in the NRRRL this season.
ON THE RISE: Expect big things from Seagulls second-rower Nathan Hoey in the NRRRL this season. Doug Eaton

BALLINA second-rower Nathan Hoey has been rewarded for an impressive 2013 season with selection in the Northern Rivers emerging players' representative squad.

Hoey, 20, was an unsung hero off the bench as the Seagulls broke a 20-year premiership drought in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition last year.

"I've always enjoyed my footy at Ballina and any-thing else is just a bonus," Hoey said.

"But you definitely play to make teams like this and it's good to have a foot in the door."

The emerging players' squad is recognised as a pathway to the Northern Rivers representative team that competes in the NSW Country Championships.

Ballina teammate Rory Skinner was named in the emerging player squad last year and has included in the top squad of 26 this year.

The Seagulls have eight players in the Northern Rivers rep squad with Skinner joined by Andrew Battese, Michael Thomas, Clarence Kelly, Brett Kelly, Kane Montgomery, Simon Perkins and Dylan Montgomery.

Hoey meanwhile has been busy with pre-season training while also playing for Tintenbar-East Ballina in the LJ Hooker cricket competition.

They play their last game this weekend as Hoey prepares to shift his focus to the first round NRRRL clash against Evans Head on April 6.

"I'd be more than happy to start this year but we'll see what happens," Hoey said.


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