Sprint star to play back home
ZAC Pauli hopes to put some of the little things he learnt from international footballer Kevin Walters at the Ipswich Jets to good use in his first season of A-grade for the Warwick Cowboys.
Pauli won three Warwick and District premierships with the Eastern Suburbs Hornets and played one season of under-18 footy with the Warwick Cowboys before signing with the Ipswich Jets.
He played three seasons with the Jets in the under-20 competition and trial games with the Queensland Cup side at the start of the 2009 season.
Last season, he was clocked as the fastest player at the Jets over 100 metres, and he hopes to put that speed to good use in Warwick.
Pauli ran an 11-second 100 metres at Warwick State High School.
“I want to play this season with my mates at the Cowboys and then see what happens,” Pauli said.
While his preferred position is centre, Pauli played most of his footy in Ipswich at fullback.
On Saturday, he debuted in A-grade for the Cowboys and played the first half on the wing and the second half at centre.
While he won’t say no to representative footy if selected, Pauli said his focus this season was to play well with the Cowboys.
“It will be pretty tough to make A-grade, there are a lot of quality players in the club,” Pauli said.
At Ipswich, Pauli picked up a lot of little hints from a coaching panel which included former NRL players Kevin Walters and the Walker brothers, Ben and Shane.
“I gained from their experience. I am a big fan of Cowboys coach Gary Lawrence,” he said.
Pauli still lives and works in Ipswich and travels to Warwick with Evan Sambrooks and Dean Weller for training each Thursday night, sometimes on a Friday night and then for games.
At present, Pauli is working for a landscaper, but the 20-year-old is hoping to secure an apprenticeship with a builder.
He didn’t score a try in the 58-0 win against the Border Bushrangers on Saturday night in a trial game, but Lawrence was impressed with the pace shown by Pauli and winger Hayden McNicol.
As for a premiership victory, Pauli said that would be excellent.
“So far it’s been good at the Cowboys,” he said.
“I haven’t seen any of the other (TRL) teams yet.”
On Saturday, the Cowboys A-grade side will be seeking to make it three wins in three trial games when they take on Pittsworth Danes at Pittsworth.
Warwick and Pittsworth meet in all four grades with A-grade at 7.30pm. It is still to be confirmed if C- grade or under-18 will be the first game.
Club vice-president Paul Hallman said the club needed a good attendance of players in all grades at training tonight and Thursday from 6pm at Father Ranger Oval.
“It would be nice to have another six or eight senior players signed up and training.”