Hughie Stanley has impressed good judges since linking with the Roosters.
Hughie Stanley has impressed good judges since linking with the Roosters.

Hugh creates impressive debut

HUGHIE Stanley’s impressive Roosters debut has Sydney officials – and the man himself – crowing about his NRL prospects for 2010.

The one-time Lower Clarence Magpie has caught the eye of keen judges at the Bondi club since linking in the off-season with the Toyota Cup under-20 squad.

His efforts at training have been so strong that he won a maiden run in the top grade during the Roosters’ 58-14 drubbing of Queensland club Atherton last weekend.

Stanley swapped between centre and fullback during the contest and showcased his talent with a try-scoring cameo.

Another crack at the top grade – in the pre-season at least – appears a matter of when, not if.

“It’s been pretty good,” Stanley said of his form.

“I made about five or six breaks which was good. I’m pretty excited about working so hard in the pre-season.

“I probably could (play first grade). I just need to work on my defence.”

The 19-year-old did not look out of place alongside a sprinkling of the Roosters stars – including Braith Anasta and Todd Carney - for the Atherton clash.

Sydney supremo and Maclean product Brian Smith admits he has been pleasantly surprised with the form of his young recruit.

“He’s making progress,” Smith said.

“He did really well during the off-season.

“I’d say he’s done everything he could to get a look in (the top squad).”

Smith did not attend the match but received good reports about Stanley from his deputies.

“The assistant coach was quite impressed (against Atherton),” he said.

“It was quite a nice start to his career with the club.”

A first grade spot is now on the agenda for Stanley, who only months ago played a vital role in the Magpies’ title triumph.

It was then-boss Garry Anderson who issued the classy centre his boarding pass into the Roosters nest.

“He (Anderson) was keen for him to get a shot and he’s doing him proud,” Smith said.

“He’s been working really hard to get into a position to press for a start.

“He just needs to keep applying himself like he is right now.

“There’s no time limit on it. He’s done well enough so far.”

Stanley has been left out of the Roosters squad for the Foundation Cup clash against Wests Tigers.

But don’t expect him to be cooling his heels on the sidelines for too long with a long toil ahead for last season’s strugglers.

“I’d say he’s done everything he could to get a look in (the top squad).”



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