Canberra have been boosted on the eve of the NYC finals series, with three of their most promising under 20’s players agreeing to new deals with the club.
NYC Fullback of the year Jack Ahearn, centre Jeremy Hawkins and prop Jeff Lynch have all re-signed with the club for a further two season each and will be part of the Raiders NRL squad until the end of 2015.
All three players have been huge parts of Canberra’s NYC teams’ success in 2013, with the under 20’s on the cusp of securing the minor premiership, if they secure a win over the Warriors or Sharks in the last two weeks of the regular season.
Local junior Ahearn said he’s thrilled to be remaining at the club and thats he sees a pathway to the NRL through the Raiders.
“I grew up supporting the Raiders, so to be able to re-sign with them is a great feeling for me. I have an old 1994 jersey signed by Mal Meninga and Laurie Daley and it’s still at home,” Ahearn said. “I’m over the moon to have a two year extension at my local club. It’s a good opportunity here for me and I look forward to wearing that green jumper for another two years.”
Ahearn is excited to be a part of the next generation of Raiders and he uses his fellow NYC team mates as inspiration to succeed.
“We’ve got a good young group coming through. I really look up to players like Mitch Cornish, Jeremy Hawkins and Jeff Lynch because of their work ethic,” he said. “They keep pushing me to improve and it’s good to see that we’re all going to be here for a bit longer together.”
Hawkins has impressed Raiders coaching staff for both the NYC and Mounties teams since joining the club as junior from New Zealand and he is looking forward to taking the next step.
“I came over here from New Zealand on a three year deal and my main goal was to play in the NRL for the Raiders and I’ve now got two more years to work towards my goal,” Hawkins said. “I played SG Ball with Mitch Cornish and Jack Ahearn so it’s good that we’re sticking together.”
Lynch is currently recovering from a season ending shoulder injury, but he cannot wait to start the pre-season and have the chance to train with the club’s NRL squad.
“It’s been a frustrating end to the year for me after the shoulder surgery and watching the team do so well from the sideline but hopefully the boys can go on and win the competition,” Lynch said. “For me it’s about making sure my shoulder is right to go for the pre-season and I can’t wait to learn from the NRL players and train alongside them.”