Broncos brushing, old man's hatred fuelling fire in Mahoney

Reed Mahoney couldn't crack Brisbane's development squads as a kid, so he simply followed his old man's example in despising Queensland's flagship club.

The rising Parramatta hooker will be front and centre in Friday's Suncorp Stadium showdown with the Broncos, parents Glenn and Leanne on deck too for a rare chance to see Mahoney perform in the flesh.

Growing up in Nambour on the Sunshine Coast, the same stomping ground as Roosters rake Jake Friend and Maroons utility Moses Mbye, he was no Broncos fan thanks to Glenn.

But he dearly wanted a start in their junior rep squads regardless, only to be passed over despite representing Queensland throughout high school at rugby league and touch footy over the years.

"When I was growing up, one of my mates was with the Broncos," Mahoney says.

"I didn’t actually support the Broncos but I always wanted to be part of the development system there.

"I think I was about 15 when he was in the development [squad]. It did annoy me at the start because we were always making the same teams but it’s just how it is. Life goes on.

"None of the Queensland teams wanted a bar of me [as a teenager]. So, here I am in Sydney."

Mahoney had to take his talents south of the border but he is already being sized up for Queensland Origin honours down the line.

The 21-year-old is enjoying a breakout season at Parramatta after announcing himself as a player of genuine promise in last year's under 20s Origin, coming off the bench at a million miles an hour in Queensland's 30-12 defeat of the Blues.

Mahoney credits his older brothers for instilling his eye-catching aggro around the ruck.

"If we weren’t hugging each other, we were punching on," he grins. "I’ve learnt to stand up for myself no matter how big or small they are."

And Glenn, an Eels tragic with the homemade blue and gold shrine to prove it, made sure Mahoney had no interest in the Broncos beyond seeing them get beaten.

"I didn’t really follow a team," Mahoney says. "I just didn’t like the Broncos growing up. My old man got in my ear.

"He hated them. I don’t know why. It was just one of those things so I jumped on board.

"He’s a big Parra fan. Ever since I can remember. He definitely hated the Broncos. I definitely would be tipping against them the whole time.

"Every time we versed the Broncos it was screaming at the TV and because they’d always win, I don’t think he liked that, too.

"He was a bit biased but that’s how it is."