Penrith's young gun gives lessons at Holy Family

09 Apr, 2012 04:00 AM
Bathurst product Harry Siejka came back to his home town on Thursday to impart some football knowledge onto the students of his former public school Holy Family, but tonight he could potentially be lining up for the Penrith Panthers against the NRL’s defending premiers Manly.

Siejka is a chance of replacing Luke Walsh in the first grade side after the regular halfback was under an injury cloud last week.

The former Bathurst Panther trained with the first grade team last week, but on Thursday he still wasn’t certain whether he would play that match or the Toyota Cup under 20s game against the Sea Eagles at Brookvale this afternoon.

Siejka still took time out to work with some of the young students from Holy Family and there are a few new Panthers fans after their interaction.

“It’s good to get back to my old school. It’s changed a bit since I was here, but it’s nice to be able to come back and do this,” the 20-year-old said.

“We just ran the kids through some of the basics and a few drills. There’s some good kids here, they picked things up pretty quickly. There’s a few cheeky ones, so they must be halfbacks.”

Siejka is in his third season of Toyota Cup under 20s with the Panthers and last year he also had his first taste of the top flight, playing two NRL games. He is eager to add more this season.

“I love playing first grade and I’m happy to play anywhere, whether that be starting on the bench and coming on as hooker or wherever,” he said.

“There is a chance I could be playing this week [tonight] because there is a bit of doubt over Walshy, but I will just have to wait and see.”

Next year Siejka will be too old to play Toyota Cup, so he is viewing every game he plays in the top grade this season as an opportunity to push his claims.

“I have a couple of goals this season. One is I would like to play in the under 20s State of Origin and the other is I would like to play as much first grade as possible,” Siejka said.

“A lot of the players who will be selected for the Origin side are already playing regular first grade and it would be great to be a part of.

“I’m contracted to Penrith until the end of next year, so I will just do my best and see what happens then, whether I stay with Penrith or end up somewhere else.”


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