From boys to men, Royals take on Barbs
ROYALS carry all the momentum into the Grafton Men's Premier League preliminary final clash with Barbs Hagars 5.20pm on Sunday afternoon with the winner to take on City Bears in the grand final.
Should Royals achieve the feat, it would mean no less than three grand final appearances in the space of eight days for Zac Young. The pint-sized striker, who scored in last week's 3-1 elimination of Sailors, will also turn out for Royals Jets in today's under-16 boys hockey grand final while next Saturday morning he'll pull on the footy boots as halfback for Grafton Ghosts under-14s.
The 14-year-old stepped up to Premier League midway through the year and has shown he doesn't shy away from the physicality and aggression of playing with the men.
"It's getting pretty intense at this stage of the season," Zac said.
"There's a huge difference in 'A' grade compared with 16s and 'B' Grade. It's a lot more physical, and a lot more skilful too.
"I don't really mind it that much. I hold my ground."
Zac is the younger brother of this week's Junior Sportsperson of the Month recipient, Sam Young, who is fast developing into a leader in midfield since returning from Australian All Schools Under-16 selection.
"Definitely ever since he come back from Perth he's gotten a lot better," Zac vouched for his brother. "He's got heaps more confidence, higher intensity and encourages his team a lot more."
Last time these two sides met Royals won 4-0. Barbs will need to find some inspiration to break a five-match losing streak which coincided with the departure of their own brothers Troy and Laurie Urquhart.
The minor premiers lost 2-0 in last week's major semi-final to Bears and are desperate for a chance to atone last year's extra time grand final defeat to Bears.
Zac and Sam Young along with younger sister and NSW Under-13 representative Grace will all line up for Royals Jets against City Bears Elders in under-16s today (junior hockey previews page 45).