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Khan-Pereira keen for his return to the football field

A proven try-scorer, rising young winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira is looking forward to showcasing his ability again once season 2021 kicks off next month.

Khan-Pereira, currently training with Gold Coast Titans alongside fellow Queensland Rugby League junior stars Tristan Powell and Toby Sexton, last season achieved an amazing strike rate while playing for Burleigh Bears in the Gold Coast Rugby League  QTOP A Grade competition, scoring three doubles and a hat-trick in the four games he played.

“I played A Grade for Burleigh, I had a short season, I only played four games... but ended up with nine tries,” Khan-Pereira said.

“But I did a stupid tackle and it led me to getting suspended.

“(However) it was awesome to play some footy, I missed it and I still miss it now.”

Alofi Khan Pereira in action for Burleigh Bears in 2020. Photo: Cameron Stallard / QRL
Alofi Khan Pereira in action for Burleigh Bears in 2020. Photo: Cameron Stallard / QRL

While one lesson he learned was the importance of correct tackle technique, the time in the local league competition also prepared him for what he hopes will come this year.

“Hopefully (I am playing Intrust Super Cup with the Bears)... it all goes down to working hard and the trials, which I am hoping I can play," Khan-Pereira said. 

“But definitely, I have Cup on my mind at the moment, so hopefully I get to play.”

Alofi Khan Pereira gets presented his Queensland Murri Under 16 jersey.
Alofi Khan Pereira gets presented his Queensland Murri Under 16 jersey.

Khan-Pereira would be familiar name to fans of the game, having played for his state in numerous representative teams, including featuring with the Queensland Under 16 Murri team as well as in the Queensland Under 16 and Queensland 18 teams in the past.

“Murris was awesome because of all the Indigenous boys... I love my culture, I love who I am, being around the boys same as me, same culture, is awesome,” Khan-Pereira said.

“I (also) played 16s and 18s, (and in both) we played before an Origin game.

“In the Under 16s, we didn’t win that one, so I don’t really talk about it.

“(But) that was my first year of taking rugby league seriously and it was a whole new experience for me, so I had to adapt with the boys; the seriousness was all brand new to me.”

Alofi Khan Pereira speaks with Brian Kelly at Gold Coast Titans pre-season training. Photo: Jorja Brinums / QRL
Alofi Khan Pereira speaks with Brian Kelly at Gold Coast Titans pre-season training. Photo: Jorja Brinums / QRL

Although he excelled as a young player and has gone on to pursue it at a higher level, surprisingly, rugby league was not his first choice of sport as a junior.

“I was normally a soccer player, I loved playing soccer before I played football... I didn’t know what football was,” Khan-Pereira said.

“I was down in New South Wales... I moved up when I was about 10 years old and Dad turned on the telly and I saw rugby league and I was wondering what sport it was, it was rugby league.

“So, Dad put me down at Burleigh Bears and chucked me in and ever since then I have loved it.

“I haven’t looked back.”