Future burns bright for Cowra's young Raiders

Leroy Murray.
Leroy Murray.

Three of Cowra's future footy stars have been selected as part of two Canberra Raiders junior representative sides.

Josh Pokoney has been named in the 2020 SG Ball Cup squad while Jacob Haeata and Leroy Murray will line up for the 2020 Harold Matthews Cup Squad.

Josh, who has been training with the squad since last November, says he's looking forward to the competition.

"It's really exciting, I'm really privileged to have been chosen and really looking forward to the opportunity and what's to come in the future," he said.

All three boys are hoping to rise through the ranks of the NRL and say their selection will help therm get one step closer to their dreams.

Josh Pokoney.

Josh Pokoney.

"I've been working on it specifically for the last three to four years, even when we have breaks from Canberra I've been training at home most days to make sure I'm keeping up with it all and keeping up with the expectations because it's something I really want to pursue in the future, if I got the opportunity to," Josh said.

"It makes me feel better knowing that I've put a lot of hard work in and something good has come back for me... Mainly try and work my way up the ranks through the juniors and then to the senior league NRL," Leroy said.

"In my eyes, being selected creates a pathway to what I want to pursue in the future and I want to thank the Raiders for this opportunity, it really means to me a lot," Jacob said.

Jacob said he looks forward to joining Leroy in the side.

"It's a once in a lifetime experience... especially being from a small town and having a good Rugby League club like the Cowra Magpies and it's pretty good because you always have someone to go to," he said.

Given the choice, Josh and Leroy would love to run out to the sounds of a viking horn and play for the green machine in the NRL.

"I definitely consider Raiders at the forefront, they were the one that really gave me my first opportunity," Josh said.

"They have a good affiliation with the Riverina area, they like to get the boys out of the bush."

"It would be good just to stay with the Raiders because I've been with them this year and last year," Leroy said.

All three boys wanted to thank their families for their support.

"Really thankful for my parents in particular, because they take a lot of time out of work and do a lot things around making sure I get to where I need to be," Josh said.

"They've [my parents] done a lot of hard work and the commitment they're putting in for me to reach the level that I want to get to," Leroy said.

Jacob Haeata.

Jacob Haeata.

"I want to thank Mum for all the support and effort she puts in, the sacrifices," Jacob said.

Leory would also like to thank coaches Ken McNamara and Craig Negus, Michael Brown, training partner Tommy Negus and Steve Sinclair, who assists with gym work.

Jacob would like to thank Ken McNamara, Craig Negus and Dean Murray.

Both sides' seasons will kick off on Saturday, February 8 against the Parramatta Eels at Belconnen Oval in Canberra.

The Harold Matthews side will play at 1.30pm, followed by the SG Ball Cup at 3pm.