Luke Cuthbert has only just turned 19 and on Saturday he will represent the Farrer League seniors for the third time.
It’s no small achievement. And Cuthbert has no small role either, going up against some of the Riverina League’s most respected footballers.
“I’m pretty keen. It’s a big day, especially to start in the midfield, get my hands on it and that,” Cuthbert said.
“It’ll be tough but – they’ve got some very strong midfielders in there, that’s for sure.”
He’s talking about two-time Jim Quinn Medallist, Jayden Klemke, Leeton-Whitton’s grand final best-on-ground, Bryce O’Garey, and Wagga Tigers coach Shaun Campbell.
It could be intimidating but Cuthbert – a premiership winner with East Wagga-Kooringal who has NEAFL experience with GWS Giants – is looking forward to testing himself.
“Definitely, ’cause I suppose that’s where I want to get to as a footballer,” he said.
“They’re known as some of the best footballers around here so playing against them teaches you a lot if you follow them around and learn a few running patterns and what-not.
“What I’ve heard of them, they’re very tough and like to tackle. I think it’s a tough style of game to play for four quarters of footy for them so if we can hold on and just keep getting it on the outside it should work out for us.”
With captain Ben Absolum (EWK) and North Wagga star Lachie Highfield he has the responsibility of trying to get the underdogs on top in the middle and going forward.
“They want me to be the bull in there so I’ve got to match them and to get it out to the likes of Ben and Lachie and that,” he said.
“I think having a big, tall forward line will really help. I think they won’t match up as big down there but they’ve got some fast half-back flankers like Campbell Lovell and that down there.
“But having big Hully (Nick Hull) and Joey Stapleton there is a big help I think.”
Cuthbert works alongside Lovell during the week and said there’s been plenty of talk in the build-up to the game.
He’s a big fan of the representative scene and enjoyed working under Farrer League coach Ryan Forsyth who was also in charge for the win against Ovens and King League last year.
“He’s a good coach and that really helps,” he said. “Last year was good because everyone wanted to be there and we had a team who played as a team. Everyone gelled and we knew what we wanted to do.
“It’s a good group, we all get along real well so it should work well.”
The Farrer League will go in as underdogs and Cuthbert said they won’t be putting undue pressure on themselves.
“We can just go out there and play how we want to play and give it our best shot I suppose,” he said.
“If we lose, we lose. If we win, we’ll be more than happy.
“But I think it’s just about going out there and doing what you’ve got to do."
Saturday’s clash starts at 1.45pm. The under 17.5 game is at 11.30am.
The under 17 netball gets underway at midday with the senior game to start at 1.30pm.