Clovelly Crocs Keep on Cranking Out the Talent
Grassroots sport, like most things, has taken a bit of a pounding this year, so it’s nice to stop and reflect on some local talent doing well. The Clovelly Crocodiles, with their home ground picturesquely perched up on the hill above Clovelly Beach at Burrows Park, have been quietly humming along the past few years, developing a production line of sorts for young footballing talent.
Three immediately come to mind: Tom Wright, Victor Radley and Lachlan Lam (if you want to get cheeky, you could include Tristan Sailor too, but he only played a couple of seasons at Clovelly).
Radley is probably the most recognisable, having featured heavily in the Sydney Roosters’ run to the NRL Premiership in 2019 and being touted by many as a State of Origin bolter this year, before injury cruelled his chances. His time will come though. He has already achieved more than most do in their careers, and he’s barely started shaving.
Lachlan Lam, son of Queensland and PNG hero Adrian, has been busy cementing himself as a first grade teammate of Radley in 2020. Playing several games already, the tantalising prospect of a grand final appearance is not out of the question, some may even call it likely. Already taller than his father, it will not be long before he both metaphorically and physically emerges from his shadow.
Tom Wright is not only a great footy player, but also a unicorn, being a young star successfully poached by the ARU. Tom has been tearing it up on the wing for the ACT Brumbies and I don’t want to jinx it, but if he doesn’t get named for the Wallabies as soon as the Test matches return, I’ll ‘Cool Hand Luke’ it and eat fifty eggs.
It wasn’t long ago that the Sydney Roosters were an ongoing punchline in the NRL for not producing their own juniors, but as a long-time feeder for the club, the Crocs are now doing their best to put that stigma to rest. They’ve also produced some very likeable young men, despite their success, and that is perhaps a greater endorsement for their set up.
With 2020 being a complete dog’s breakfast, we’ve at least had a chance to reflect on the importance of looking out for those who live around us. It’s a strange world we live in when many of us don’t know the name of the person who sleeps within a few metres of us each night – I’m talking about neighbours; if you don’t know the name of a person sleeping in your house, that’s positively alarming – and local sports clubs like the Crocs do an immense amount of work to bring the community together. They also help to keep our kids fit and active, and give purpose to old codgers with dodgy knees who may otherwise be wasting their days away at the TAB.
So, cheers to the Clovelly Crocodiles. May their premierships be plentiful and their young stars reach the heights they so heartily deserve.