No fuss for Benny as he prepares for Dolphins blitz
RUGBY LEAGUE: There is not much that fazes Grafton Ghosts junior talent Ben Liyou.
The towering second rower has climbed to the top of the Country Rugby League junior mountain before, and, in 2018, he has his sights set on that peak again.
Liyou will step out for the North Coast Dolphins in its first clash of the Laurie Daley Cup (Under 18s) this weekend, and if he's nervous, there's no way of knowing it.
He was one of a five-man leadership group in the East Coast Dolphins Under 16s side last season, but was expecting a few changes in the revamped competition.
"This is pretty much the same tournament we were playing last year, except they've split up the East Coast into two different conferences,” he said.
"We did have a leadership group all the way through last year, and during the Dolphins camp at the end of the year, but I think they are doing away with it for the competition.
"I think they want everyone to step up as a leader.”
The Dolphins are expected to announce the Under 18s captain later this week, but Liyou said he has no expectations.
"I haven't really put much thought to it honestly,” Liyou said.
"If I get the captaincy then that would be great, but I would rather focus on just doing my job in the team.”
The Dolphins have been training twice a week since resuming for the Christmas holidays, breaking into northern and southern sections midweek, before meeting as a squad on Sundays.
For Liyou, it has been a quick acclimatise to the squad, with Ghosts team mates Jake Martin and James Martin, no relation, outside him.
"Jake and I played on the same right edge for the Ghosts last season so we already have that combination,” Liyou said.
"We have been playing footy together since Under 11s so we really know what to expect from each other.
"As for James, this is only his second season of league which is really impressive for him to make it into this team. He has the sheer pace and great game awareness, so I'm looking forward to see what he can do.”
Former South Grafton Rebels junior Lewis Cooper has also been named in the squad which will take on Central Coast Roosters at Wauchope on Saturday.