Brenko follows Edrick’s “Lee-d”
Tuesday 18 December 2012 9:00 AM
In 2012 a young Edrick Lee burst into the Raiders’ NRL squad after exhibiting spectacular form in the Green Machine’s Under 20s side.
Now meet his younger cousin Brenko. 2012 was definitely a year to remember for Brenko. Not only did the dynamic centre play a central role in the Raiders’ charge to the SG ball Grand Final but he also went on to represent his home state of Queensland at under 18s level, despite only being 16.
To cap it all off he has now been promoted to Raiders’ fulltime NYC squad for 2013 and selected in the inaugural Queensland Junior Emerging Squad along with Anthony Milford and Patrick Mago. The squad brings together the Sunshine State’s best young talent for a special camp in January.
“I’m quite wrapped” Lee said. “I honestly thought that I would have to fight for my spot in the under 18s again in 2013 but now I’m trying to crack it with the big boys which is pretty good.”
According to the South’s Logan Junior the catalyst behind his stellar 2012 was a desire to become more mature.
“I was a bit immature at the start of this year but I realised that if I wanted to move on to bigger and better things I had to be more mature.
“I learned to stay composed and that really helped my game”
A proud Queenslander, Lee nominates his participation in Queensland’s 24-18 victory over New South Wales in the Under 18s State of Origin game as one of the highlights of his career.
“It was the toughest game I’ve ever played” he said. “It was physical and there was so much passion and everyone just wanted to win so much for their state.”
Similarly, he is extremely honoured to be selected in the junior emerging squad and is determined to make the most of the opportunity.
“It’s given me a big boost; it makes me want to prove myself...I want to show that I deserve to be in that squad.
“It’ll be a shame if I make that squad but don’t kick on a play 20s though.”
Like many players who make the transition from SG Ball to NYC, Lee has found the step up in training to be quite a challenge, but it’s a challenge he’s willing to meet if it means that he can line up for the junior raiders in round one against the Panthers.
“It’s the hardest training I’ve ever done but I’m trying my hardest to get a starting spot.”
That said, Lee is not adverse to having a bit of fun at training as well, particularly with fellow Queenslanders Jonathon Rueben and John Papalii.
“They make training a bit more fun... you can have a little laugh with them every now and then.”
Recently Brenko moved in with Edrick and claims that he often looks up to his older cousin for inspiration and advice.
“Scoring two tries in the under 20s origin game is pretty impressive” Brenko said.
“I often ask Eddie where he got the drive to play well in that Origin game because he wasn’t playing his best football before that game, but after it he went to another level.
“I’m always wandering what his secret is.”
One thing’s for sure, with his boundless talent should Brenko manage to chance upon Edrick’s secret there’s a distinct possibility that he may eventually join his older cousin in the Raiders NRL squad sometime down the track.