iSelect Titans under-20s halfback Kane Elgey has been chosen in the Holden Cup Team of the Year which was announced at League Central in Sydney today.
Elgey, the former Australian Schoolboys representative who is in his second season in the National Youth Competition, has had an outstanding year despite the side being second from the bottom of the ladder.
The goalkicking play-maker, who has scored some long range tries showing exceptional speed, has shared the captaincy with fullback Jahrome Hughes and showed tremendous leadership and control of play behind a small pack.
“I took him out of his comfort zone by making him captain but it has no doubt helped his game and he has become a good leader and matured a lot this season,” said Titans under-20s coach Bern Woolf.
“We don’t have a big pack so we haven’t been able to dominate the big forward packs we’re often up against, so that makes Kane’s achievement ever more impressive.
“And his defence has improved a lot from the previous season too, so it’s great to see Kane’s hard work rewarded.”
NRL’s head of football Todd Greenberg said the National Youth Competition, known as the Holden Cup, is proving more important than ever before in preparing young players for the NRL.
He said the NYC had developed a host of young stars in 2014 who were already establishing themselves as first grade regulars.
These include Jake Mamo (8 first grade games), Joseph Tapine (7) and Sione Mata’utia (5) from Newcastle, Valentine Holmes (5) from the Sharks, Nene Macdonald (7) from the Roosters and Tepai Moeroa (7) from the Eels who had all been included in the Holden Cup Team of the Year.
“Some of these players, like Nene and Tepai, may have the opportunity to play Finals football in the NRL this year,” Mr Greenberg said.
“That is an incredible achievement – to go from the youth competition to the finals of the toughest competition in the world in the same year.
“But I think that indicates how strong the Holden Cup has become – and how well it prepares our young players for the NRL.”
Among the players from last year’s Holden Cup Team of the Year who played first grade this year were Luke Brooks, Michael Lichaa, Bryce Cartwright, Corey Oates and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
The 2014 Team of the Year is as follows:
Jake Mamo (Newcastle Knights)
Valentine Holmes (Cronulla Sharks)
Sione Mata'utia (Newcastle Knights)
Brendan Elliott (Sydney Roosters)
Nene MacDonald (Sydney Roosters)
Te Maire Martin (Wests Tigers)
Drew Hitchison (St. George Illawarra Dragons)
Andy Saunders (Penrith Panthers)
Manaia Cherrington (Wests Tigers)
Sam Lisone (New Zealand Warriors)
Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Melbourne Storm)
Tepai Moeroa (Parramatta Eels)
Willie Meehan (Sydney Roosters)
Daniel Levi (Newcastle Knights)
Joseph Tapine (Newcastle Knights)
Addin Fonua-Blake (St. George Illawarra Dragons)
Kane Elgey (Gold Coast Titans)
Coach: Mick Crawley (Newcastle Knights)