Rookie could be hero for Swans
RUGBY LEAGUE: Nathanael Mcgavin was just four years old when the Maroochydore Swans were last crowned premiers.
He can help take the club one step closer to claiming its first title in 14 years tomorrow night with a win over long-standing rival Caloundra in the qualifier for the grand final.
It has been a long drought for the Swans but their recent run of form - they have scalped reigning premier Kawana twice in recent weeks - has given them the self-belief to at least dream of holding up the Caloundra RSL Cup on grand final day.
Their hopes of making that a reality partly rest in their fixture against the in-form Sharks, who are coming off a break following their win over Kawana.
In spite of the strong possibility of ending their premiership drought, Mcgavin said such talk had not entered team discussions.
"It has been a long time I suppose, but we are not thinking about it at all," he said. "That might not even happen, so all we can do is think about playing our best this weekend against Caloundra."
Mcgavin, 18, played junior football for East Carina in the Brisbane competition before joining the Swans' under-16 ranks in 2011.
He represented the Sunshine Coast Falcons in both under-16s (2012) and under-18s (2013-14) before enjoying a breakout debut year for Maroochydore this season.
The fullback has enjoyed a smooth transition to the top grade after deciding to have a go following this year's under-18 Mal Meninga Cup.
"I decided to have a break from them and get some first grade under my belt," he said.
"It took a little while to get the confidence up enough to get the boys set in defence and pass on the orders, but I am all good now."
Coach Mark Brandon described the club's Rookie of the Year nominee as one of the men to take the Swans to the next level.
"He's done everything right this year and is one of the bright lights to lead the club in the coming years," he said.
"I had no hesitation bringing him in and he has done everything I have asked of him and he's so coachable - one of those players that just wants to listen.
"He's playing well and we will need him to continue that form against Caloundra, who are going to be very hard to beat."
Check Sunshine Coast Sunday for a preview of the elimination final between Caboolture and Kawana.
CALOUNDRA V MAROOCHYDORE
Tomorrow, Caloundra, 5pm