Campbell Named Indigenous Player of the Year
Eels Harold Matthews Cup hooked Adam Campbell has been named the Kari Indigenous Player of the Year at Wednesday night's annual Brad Fittler Medal.
The awards night honours players from Harold Matthews and junior representative age through to the State of Origin players' player, and the talented Parramatta youngster says that he's honoured by his nod from the NSWRL.
"I’m stoked! Over the moon," Campbell said.
"I have so many people to thank for it. It’s a massive honour. Not many people get to represent their people. I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity and have made my family proud."
"Mum found out before me and she was almost more excited than me and my dad couldn’t stop talking about it."
The award caps a memorable few years of footy for Campbell, including a place in the NSWCHS 15’s and the opportunity to captain the NSW Indigenous 16s, as well as joining the Eels Harold Matthews Cup side for his first season in 2014.
It's also the third year in a row that Parramatta have supplied the winner of the gong, with Mick Doolan taking the award home in 2013 and Tyrell Fuimaono the winner in 2012.
Steve Hall, the Indigenous Programs Officer at NSW Rugby League, believes there is some great young talent coming out of Parramatta.
Campbell is also following in the footsteps of current Parramatta Eels players Nathan Peats and Chris Sandow, who were also a part of the junior Indigenous Rugby League program.
“The past three years Parramatta players have won the award, and it’s good to see them being given a chance,” Hall said.
"Peatsy (Nathan Peats) played for NSW 16s Indigenous team and Chris Sandow played for the Queensland 16s Indigenous team."
Steve believes young players like Adam Campbell can be great ambassadors for the Indigenous Rugby League community.
“It’s great to see players like Adam playing so well for the whole Indigenous community. There are lots of really good kids coming through the system,” he added.
Campbell is now focusing on his recovery from elbow surgery, before preparing for next season.
“I can’t wait for next season," Campbell said.
"I’ve spent 8 weeks out after surgery on my elbow and I just can’t wait to get back out there."
And when it comes to his award from the NSWRL, Campbell says there is one name he imagines next to his: Michael Mitchell. Mitchell passed away earlier in the year, and Campbell says his influence was invaluable.
"He was like a big brother to me," Campbell said.
"I honour this award to him because I wouldn’t be here without his help."