Meaney getting a taste of the big time
| You can watch the live stream of Nick Meaney and the NSW Under 20s in action HERE |
It has been a breakout year so far for nib Newcastle Knights fullback Nick Meaney.
At just 19 years of age he’s playing his first year in Reserve Grade, was picked for the Intrust Super Premiership NSW Residents squad and last week got the call up for the New South Wales Under 20s side.
“I was surprised at the start, it is a great achievement for me,” Meaney smiled.
“I am proud and honoured to represent my state on Wednesday.”
Earlier this month, Meaney was shocked by his selection as 19th man in the ISP NSW Residents side in just his first year playing in the Club’s Reserve Grade side.
While he didn’t get to take the field, it was all a learning experience for the young fullback.
“We went away up to Brisbane for the game, I didn’t play but it was a good experience to learn how to be in camp,” explained Meaney.
“Coming back from the camp a few weeks ago, I felt a bit more confident being recognised for how I have been playing this year.
“I have brought that back to the Knights to help improve our team’s performance and my own performance as well.”
The young Knight travelled to Sydney on Friday before spending two nights in Kiama on the south coast and up to Brisbane on Monday ahead of the match.
Meaney, who has been selected in the number one jersey, admits he’s enjoyed meeting his team mates.
“Just being around different boys, learning how to deal with being in camp and being away from home,” Meaney commented.
“Normally I’m just at home leading up to game day and doing a Captain’s Run with the Knights.
“It is a lot different learning how to be in that environment where I don’t know many of the boys but I’m hoping to gel really quickly with them."
Meaney is hoping the NSW Under 20s can continue their five-year winning streak over the Maroons.
“Fingers crossed we can keep that going and maybe the first grade team can grab a win this year as well,” said Meaney.
“I looked at the side when it was announced and there are a few boys in there that I know who are really good footballers.
“I am not too sure about the Queenslanders... I haven’t played any Under 20s games this year so I haven't really followed the boys in the NYC comp."
The 19-year-old also says he’s been happy with his form in the ISP squad so far this season.
“Playing in Reserve Grade against men, I think I’ve taken it on well,” stated Meaney.
“I'm getting used to it physically and getting more comfortable... but I’m very happy with how I have performed for the first half this season.”
He is even hopeful of making his first grade debut soon.
“This year they are playing a lot better football, so getting that spot is a lot more competitive,” explained Meaney.
“It's a harder task compared to recent years but it is the end goal to try and get that first grade spot.
“I will just have to wait and see how the year pans out.”
The NSW Under 20s will play against Queensland at 5.15pm on Wednesday May 31, with the match to be lived streamed in full HERE.