For 17-year-old Orange CYMS junior Moung Dut, the gap between the end of 2016 and the start of the 2017 season is a little blurry.
In fact, it’s non-existent.
After Dut helped CYMS’ under 18s side claim the 2016 Group 10 minor premiership – before the green and golds were eventually bundled out of the competition in straight sets – the flying fullback went immediately into pre-season training with the Parramatta Eels’ SG Ball squad.
Eight weeks of intensive sessions, four days a week, with the Eels a tough initiation into the work required to make the big time.
Trial games against Penrith and then Canterbury the next step towards securing a place in the Parramatta backline for round one of the SG Ball competition.
Now, the next step?
A game at Blayney, of all places, on Saturday.
Dut will line up for Parramatta against the Western Rams’ under 18s at King George Oval on Saturday, playing against a host of the region’s best young talent.
Talent Dut called teammates just last year.
“It’s pretty much my old team,” Dut said.
“I know a lot of the boys and it’s going to be fun playing against them. It’s going to be tough competition.
“I’m really hoping to do well. I played five-eighth against the Bulldogs and we played two games against the Panthers, I played wing and fullback in those.
“I’d love to go well at fullback this weekend. It’s my best position.”
Western’s clash with the Eels is Rams coach Cameron Greenhalgh’s second chance to see his squad in action ahead of the 2017 Country Championships, following a trial with Manly in Dubbo in late January.
The Rams outfit contains Dut’s former Orange CYMS teammate Craig Tarr, while Blayney’s Joey Hobby and Nick Tilburg are in the squad too.
Kick-off is at 12pm at King George Oval.
PARRAMATTA: 1 Moung Dut, 2 Josh Boumelhem, 3 Jordan Hirini, 4 Asaeli Vuicakau, 5 Luke McDonald, 6 Hyrum Wichmann, 7 Jayden Millard, 8 Arthur Melhem, 9 Luke Sommerton, 10 Bruce Wakeling, 11 Sione Tupou, 12 Jarrod Spicer, 13 Jayden Yates; INTERCHANGE: 14 Rico Aliva, 15 Tasi Mauautu, 16 Uellington Seve, 17 Jayden Tanna, 18 Tyler Tuigamala, 19 Thomas Delailoa, 20 Fontene Papaali, 21 Adrian Janvrin.
WESTERN: 1 Charlie Staines (Forbes Magpies), 2 Farren Lamb (Forbes Magpies), 3 Warren Baxter (Forbes Magpies), 4 Brock Naden (Wellington Cowboys), 5 Tye Lee Simmons (Oberon Tigers), 6 Matt Burton (Dubbo CYMS), 7 Bayden Searle (Dubbo CYMS), 8 Joe Hobby (Blayney Bears), 9 Jayden Burke (Forbes Magpies), 10 Riley Cheshire (Bathurst St Pat's), 11 Luke Gale (Dubbo Macquarie), 12 Jack Davis (Dubbo CYMS), 13 Clayton Couley (Nyngan Tigers); INTERCHANGE: 14 Jackson Bonham-Phair (Dubbo CYMS), 15 Blake Frost (Dubbo Macquarie), 16 Craig Tarr (Orange CYMS), 17 Nick Tilburg (Blayney Bears), 18 Ray Simmons (Bourke Warriors).
The story Dut’s foot in the door: Parramatta spot on the line against Rams first appeared on Central Western Daily.