He’s just 16, but Jeremy Wiscombe has his sights set on a first grade debut with Albury Thunder this season.
The Thurgoona youngster is one of 12 nominees for this year’s Norske Skog Young Achiever of the Year Award.
Being selected for Country NSW to play in New Zealand last year solidified Wiscombe’s dream of one day playing at the highest level.
“It’s always been my dream since I was a junior to become a good player,” Wiscombe said.
”New Zealand was the highlight so far.
“I was surprised to be picked in the team.
“I’ve played with some classy players and a few have signed with NRL clubs.
“I want to keep going with it and hopefully play first grade this year.”
With former Canberra and Penrith centre Adrian Purtell back home to coach the Thunder this season, and ex-NRL players Joel Monaghan and Etu Uaisele on the list, Wiscombe feels he can learn plenty about what it takes to reach the next level.
His father, Paul, was also a premiership player with Wagga Brothers in the 90s.
“Dad always tells me to go in hard, don’t go in half-hearted,” Wiscombe said.
The young hooker helped the Thunder to the Group 9 under 16s premiership last season and played several games in the under 18s, leading to his selection in the Riverina Academy Bidgee Bulls this year.
“I scored two tries against Victoria here (Greenfield Park) the other week,” Wiscombe said.
“When I was a junior, I think I played under 12s when I was 10, so I’ve always been playing against older kids and bigger boys.
“I probably get more hyped up playing against the bigger fellas.”
Wiscombe has played a lot of football with Border young gun, Aidan Connell, who was recently signed by the Canberra Raiders’ Harold Matthews Cup (under 18s) side.
“I haven’t gone down the NRL path yet, I might have a look at it next season and see if I can get into any teams there,” he said.
The year 11 Albury High School student hopes to model his game on South Sydney’s Damien Cook.
“He’s someone I look up to, he likes to take it on as well,” Wiscombe said.
Wiscombe’s older brother, Liam, was nominated for the award last year, but he’d love nothing more than to claim family bragging rights.
“He always wears my Country and Bidgee gear because he doesn’t have it, which is pretty funny,” Wiscombe said.
“He tries to tell me what to do, I listen sometimes.
“I’ve probably learnt his tacking technique, that’s about it,” he laughed.
Unfortunately, Wiscombe will miss the Young Achiever presentation on March 16.