Young Eagle earns his wings

AIMING HIGH: Zachary Harris is a talented junior rugby league player and has been rewarded for it.
AIMING HIGH: Zachary Harris is a talented junior rugby league player and has been rewarded for it. Adam McCleery

Rugby league: Zachary Harris has proven to be one of Gayndah's superstar junior rugby league players and representative team selectors thought the same thing, picking Zachary as the only player from Gayndah to make the South Burnett Eagles.

Zachary, 9, was chosen in the front row and managed to win a number of accolades at a recent representative carnival.

"I started playing football when I was five,” Zachary said.

"I like it because I get to play and have fun with my friends - it's pretty good to do that.”

Zachary's mum Helen Harris said her son had a desire to play football from a remarkably young age.

"He wanted to start playing when he was three years old but they obviously don't play at that age so he had to wait,” Helen said.

"He is full on about his football and cricket, he lives and breathes it.”

Zachary took part in a week-long rugby league carnival in the South Burnett against teams from Wynnum Manly, Western Downs, Central Downs, Charleville, Cunnamulla, Barwon, Macintyre and Roma.

"Zack was the only one who got picked out of the North Burnett players for the South Burnett team,” Helen said.

"He was picked for best forward for his team and the game at the end, which was an East versus West game, he was also awarded a medal as one of the best players on ground.

"The top players from each team were picked.”

Zachary thrives in the representative arena.

"The rules are different and it's a competition of some really good players,” Zachary said.

Helen also pointed out that Zachary held his own against bigger and older players.

"He has only just turned nine and there were a lot of 10-year-old players he was against,” she said.

"But he still learned quite a few new things from those games too.”

Although young, Zachary has already set himself goals for the future of his football.

"I want to be able to play for the Melbourne Storm one day,” Zachery said.

"Billy Slater is my favourite player. I would like to be able to do the things he does.”

Helen said she was always supportive of her son's desire to play rugby league, despite the potential risks of injury.

"It's a little scary because they tackle so hard at this age and you don't want them getting hurt,” Helen said.

"And it's a lot of commitment too. He has training every week and every weekend we are travelling to Eidsvold or Cherbourg and places like that.

"But you need to be dedicated to your kids in that way if you want them to succeed.”

Zachary has shown dedication to the sport and will continue to put in the hard yards to improve his game.

"I like kicking goals at home or doing laps around the yard,” Zachary said.

That 'yard' being a whopping two acres that Zachary runs around each day.

Topics:  gayndah sport junior rugby league south burnett rugby league

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