John Cartwright expects Jake and Tom Trbojevic to apply plenty of pressure on more established players next season.
Jake won the Sea Eagles’ Best and Fairest Award for his outstanding season in 2015 in which he played 23 games, equal with half-back Daly Cherry-Evans for most first grade matches this season.
Tom won the club’s NRL Rookie of the Year award after scoring eight tries in his nine first grade appearances.
One of the new NRL Assistant Coaches at the Sea Eagles under Head Coach Trent Barrett, Cartwright has been more than impressed with what he has seen from the brothers since pre-season training began a month ago.
“There are a lot of things that go into making a first grade footballer. The first thing anyone who knows the Trbojevic boys notices is the quality of people they are,’’ Cartwright said.
“They are very committed, they train very hard, they are local boys who have come through the system, and they want to improve.
“Having that taste of first grade this year will make them hungrier but it will also make them better.
“They are not the sort of kids who are a chance of playing first grade next year. Ï can see them just playing first grade. They are really going to put pressure on for spots.”
A former NSW and Australian Test forward, Cartwright said he was very impressed with what he saw in Jake as an assistant coach at the North Queensland Cowboys.
“Jake played most of the games in the front row and was a standout for them in a very experienced pack of forwards,’’ Cartwright added.
“He has the world at his feet as far as football is concerned. What impresses me is that he is a humble kid who wants to work hard.”
Cartwright said Jake would benefit enormously from working with Queensland and Australian prop Nate Myles.
“Nate is a fantastic leader and has well over his 200 first grade games now. The most important thing about Nate is that he still thinks he can improve as a footballer,’’ Cartwright said.
“For me, a major learning curve at the Cowboys was how much Johnathan Thurston kept trying to improve his game. There’s a guy at the peak of his game but was always looking for ways to improve. Nate has the same type of attitude.
“That’s where senior players are so invaluable. If this type of attitude rubs off on the rest of the players, it makes for a really competitive squad.”
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