Glen Innes is calling him the next Johnathan Thurston – but who is this local sports star?
His name is Corey Kennedy and the young sportsman has started to take-off since moving to Glen Innes from Broken Hill in 2014.
And he’s been in love with sport since he was seven years old.
“I like stepping up – it pushes me,” he said.
“I think pushing myself helps me to get better so I can achieve my goals to become a professional football player.”
He’s my hero and it fulfils my heart when I see him out there playing.Lesley Etrich
Kennedy goes to Glen Innes High School and last Friday he went to Toronto for the Greater Western – the highest level in minor league.
“This is under 15s and then the next step after this is NSW Schools Combined,” he said.
Mr Kennedy said Glen Innes High’s PHPE teacher Richard Taylor has been an excellent mentor – always opening up new opportunities for the boys.
“Our school is sponsored by the St George Dragons and we go down there at the end of the year to train with them,” he said.
“When we went down last year we had a conference with Russell Packer and from his lifestyle he talked to us about the wrong choices he’s made and the consequences.”
Kennedy also met with Premier League’s head of elite performance, Dan Hunt to talk about mental health and sports psychology.
“Dan Hunt spoke to us about reflecting on what you have to do outside of football – and how to maintain a social life,” Kennedy said.
“He also told us who to seek for help if we needed it.”
Kennedy’s mum, Lesley Etrich, said she couldn’t be happier with how her son is progressing at such a young age.
“I’m very proud of him,” she said.
“He’s my hero and it fulfills my heart when I see him out there playing.
“I just want to see him go a long way and achieve his goals – I’m here to back him up 100 per cent all the way.”
Mrs Etrich said he was always willing to push himself further.
“He’s very fit and he goes out and pushes himself – he has a great diet,” she said.
As for what’s next for the young athlete – soon he’s heading to Sydney for a Northern Inland Academy of Sport competition.
And for the long-term future, maybe even captain of the National Rugby League team. But only time will tell.