Lockie McLaughlin scores in the under-13 Group 1 grand final between the Grafton Ghosts and the Clarence Coast Magpies at Frank McGuren Field on Saturday.
Lockie McLaughlin scores in the under-13 Group 1 grand final between the Grafton Ghosts and the Clarence Coast Magpies at Frank McGuren Field on Saturday. Mitchell Keenan

Young Ghosts earn Gold Coast Titans Elite Academy call-up

RUGBY LEAGUE: Two budding Grafton rugby league stars have been hand picked to join the Gold Coast Titans Elite Academy for the 2019-2020 season.

Grafton Ghosts under-13 teammates Lockie McLaughlin and Josh Donovan got the call-up earlier this month after an impressive run won them the Group 1 premiership.

McLaughlin's mother Casey Hemming said it was a dream come true for the skilful pair that share a stronger bond than just playing alongside each other.

"It was a massive shock, we couldn't believe it. They're best mates and Josh's dad Paul, is the coach, so for them to get this opportunity together is just incredible,” Hemming said.

"They got selected earlier this month after some scouts had seen them playing in the Group 1 competition. They had their eyes on those two but I never could have imagined this.

"Josh actually rang Lockie and said that they had both been selected but we had no idea. Lockie said, 'Mum can you check emails' and we found out they were both in, we were in shock.”

The pair will commence training with the academy on November 19, travelling to Ballina every Tuesday, but Hemming said it would all be worth it as they reach for the stars.

"They're huge footy fans, Lockie has modelled himself off Greg Inglis,” she said. "I'm just as excited as they are. It's a big commitment but it will be worth it for the opportunity.”



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