Dyldam Parramatta Eels halfback Luke Kelly admits he never thought he’d end up playing NRL games in the Northern Territory, where he grew up.
“When you think of playing NRL, you think of Sydney and Brisbane, so it’s pretty exciting,” the 24 year old said.
“We didn’t expect this much rain [on arrival] but it’s been good, we’ve settled in quickly!”
The Katherine local will be part of the Eels side to play the Wests Tigers this Saturday night in their first trial game of 2014, which he’s looking forward to.
“It’s going to be quite special, I’ve got a lot of family coming down from Katherine, so I can’t wait to start on Saturday night,” he said.
“Everyone’s champing at the bit to get that first game, its a really good opportunity for the younger guys, and the senior players are looking to start off the year well.”
After their first training session at Anzac Oval, Kelly says the brand new surface is impressive.
“It’s really good, the facilities are very good, we just got changed in the shed and there’s a lot of space, and the ground looks good,” he said.
With Head Coach Brad Arthur bringing several young players to the Red Centre to have a crack at the first grade side, Kels says he’s keen to get out on the field and prove himself.
“It’s always exciting the first time thou get to play, it’s been a long pre-season and it’s a good opportunity with a lot of spots on offer,” he said.
“Everyone’s looking to get their best foot forward.”
Despite it being their first hit-out ahead of the 2014 season, Kelly says it’ll still be a tough match.
“The Tigers are in the same sort of boat, they’ve got a lot of new players at the club and some new positions available,” he said.
“So they’re not coming here for a holiday, and it will make for an exciting game.”