Barrett backs rookie Dog to shine on debut

Canterbury coach Trent Barrett believes former schoolteacher Bradley Deitz won’t be intimidated in his NRL debut against Newcastle on Friday because he possesses the speed and smarts to shine on the big stage.

Deitz’s looming debut for the Bulldogs is a great story of perseverance given he was working as a teacher at an all-girls school in Kensington just three weeks ago.

His decision to resign from his role at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, where he began the year as a PE co-ordinator and maths teacher, to focus on football has paid dividends.

After years of trying, Bradley Deitz will finally make his NRL debut for Canterbury against Newcastle on Friday night. Picture: Steve Little | www.redandblackzone.comSource:Supplied

On Friday, the 26-year-old former Sharks, North Sydney via South Sydney, and Roosters lower grade player will come off the bench in the No.14 jumper against the Knights.

Barrett only met Deitz at the club’s final training session before Christmas — an opposed session against feeder club Mounties – but he has full faith in the journeyman hooker to get the job done.

“He is an out-and-out nine and he is there purely as a dummy half, and I think he showed in the trial against Cronulla that he won’t be overawed,” Barrett said.

“He has got a lot of experience. I didn’t want to bring anyone into the team that was just a stopgap nine.

“He is just competent at everything. He has got good service from dummy half, a nice pass and kick, and he is fast, which I think is one of his best attributes.

“He isn’t afraid to run. He is a stocky little fella who can get over the ad line.

“He is something different that we really haven’t got, and we are just lucky that we stumbled across him.”

Deitz as a 17-year-old when he was selected in the Australian Schoolboys team. Picture: SuppliedSource:News Limited

On top of impressing in Canterbury’s trials, Deitz also stood out during the club’s weekly opposed sessions every Friday.

His poise and creativity during these sessions left Barrett with no choice but to give the emerging No.9 a shot in the NRL.

“He was pretty surprised but excited more than anything,” Barrett said about informing Deitz that he will make his first-grade debut.

“I think he had a bit of an inkling that Jeremy Marshall-King would be not available to play.

“He has done really well – I’m really happy for him.

“It is a good story. He turned up here and he caught our eye in a trial against Mounties. We also had our opposed sessions most Fridays and he did really well, so we gave him an opportunity to train full-time.

“He has got some luck there and he has found himself making his debut.”

Deitz may be an NRL rookie, but Barrett said his lower grade apprenticeship would serve him well on the big stage.

“He has been really well coached,” he said.

“He has been at two really good clubs in Souths and the Roosters, so it is not as if he hasn’t been in the system for a while. It has just taken him a while to get his opportunity.

“It is a really good story for young people out there about perseverance and hanging in.

“It is a testament to him. He is not only a good player, but a good bloke as well.”

Source: Read Full Article