McDonogh identified as teen to watch after NRL clubs circle
A CONTRACT with a National Rugby League club is beckoning for Grafton teenager Jayden McDonogh.
As the 17-year-old inches through the final few months of Year 12 at McAuley Catholic College, the promising footballer is on the precipice of a rugby league career.
The Daily Examiner can reveal the representative forward, who played lock for Grafton Ghosts yesterday but happily slots into the front or second row, has been approached by at least one NRL club.
McDonogh opted not to name the club but did confirm his manager had been contacted.
The fact he is on the radar as an up-and-coming star could be enough to make his ego grow out of control, but showing the level-headedness he is becoming known for, McDonogh said he was more concerned getting through this year.
"I don't have long left so hopefully it'll go well," McDonogh said of his schooling.
McDonogh represented Group 2 at Coffs Harbour on Saturday, taking on the best under-18 players from Groups 1 and 3 as a selection trial for the East Coast Dolphins.
Before the trials he admitted it would be no easy feat retaining his place in the side after debuting with the Dolphins last year but his concerns proved unfounded.
"I made the side as front row and we're off to Wollongong for the June long weekend," McDonogh said.
"They give you some good kit. I don't have many yet but I've got East Coast from last year and I'll be getting Northern Country later this month.
"I got to keep the Group 2 jersey as well."
McDonogh has also earned a spot in the Northern Country side for the All Catholic Schools competition later this month.
It is the first time he will turn out for Northern Country after failing to trial last year.
"I completely forgot about it last year and didn't apply for it," McDonogh said.
"I'm a bit more prepared this year.
"I think I'm playing second row for both (Northern Country and Group 2), and I wouldn't mind staying there but I can play front row and lock if I need to."
McDonogh has played all four first-grade games for the Ghosts this season with last week's blockbuster against Coffs Comets his first in the starting side.
He ended up playing the full 80 minutes at lock against the Comets, and said he is relishing the experience in the top grade.
"It's hard work but I feel like I get targeted," McDonogh said.
"It's a lot tougher than what I'm used to.
"First grade is a lot faster and a lot more physical but I've really enjoyed it.
"Col Speed (Comets coach) has been doing some work at the school and he came up and shook my hand the other day. It was quite humbling."