Sam Lisone. Junior Warriors v Junior Dragons at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday 15 March 2014. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport.co.nz

Lisone in NYC Team of the Year

Players from nine clubs have been selected for the Holden Cup Team of the Year which was unveiled by the NRL today.
 
Head of Football, Todd Greenberg said the National Youth Competition, known as the Holden Cup, is proving more important than ever before in preparing young players for the NRL.
 
He said the NYC had developed a host of young stars in 2014 who were already establishing themselves as first grade regulars.
 
These include Jake Mamo (8 first grade games), Joseph Tapine (7) and Sione Mata’utia (5) from Newcastle, Valentine Holmes (5) from the Sharks, Nene Macdonald (7) from the Roosters and Tepai Moeroa (7) from the Eels who had all been included in the Holden Cup Team of the Year.
 
“Some of these players, like Nene and Tepai, may have the opportunity to play Finals football in the NRL this year,” Mr Greenberg said.
 
“That is an incredible achievement – to go from the youth competition to the finals of the toughest competition in the world in the same year.
 
“But I think that indicates how strong the Holden Cup has become – and how well it prepares our young players for the NRL.”
 
Among the players from last year’s Holden Cup Team of the Year who played first grade this year were Luke Brooks, Michael Lichaa, Bryce Cartwright, Corey Oates and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
 
Mr Greenberg said the Holden Cup had been closer than ever this year with more than 50 games being decided by a margin of 6 or less.
 
Mr Greenberg said he was particularly pleased that so many Holden Cup players were taking on full time careers in addition to their football.
 
“Naturally we hope our young players will have successful NRL careers but the reality is that many of them will not become full time footballers.
 
“So it is important they pursue other employment and the NRL provides careers advice to help them move into tertiary studies and other work.
 
“It is no surprise, therefore to see members of the team of the year working in everything from hospitality and small business to nutrition and telecommunications.” 
 
The official Holden Cup team of the year is:
 

No.

Position

Player Name

Club

work/study

1

Fullback

Jake Mamo

Knights

Certificate 4 Small Business Traineeship

2

Wing

Valentine Holmes

Sharks

Warehouse Assistant / Certificate 3/4 Fitness

3

Centre

Sione Mata'utia

Knights

Certificate 4 Small Business Traineeship

4

Centre

Brendan Elliot

Roosters

Hospitality - Easts Leagues Club

5

Wing

Nene Macdonald

Roosters

Fulltime Training Squad - Roosters

6

Five-Eighth

Te Maire Martin

Tigers

Telecommunications Trades Assistant

7

Half-Back

Drew Hutchison

Dragons

Bachelor of Physical and Health Education

8

Prop

Andy Saunders

Panthers

Advanced Certificate of Nutrition

9

Hooker

Manaia Cherrington

Tigers

Scaffolding / Certificate 4 in Fitness

10

Prop

Sam Lisone

Warriors

Mentor/Coaching in Schools

11

Second-row

Nelson Asofa-Solomona

Storm

Warehouse Labouring - Silk Contract logistics

12

Second-row

Tepai Moeroa

Eels

Certificate 4 Youth Work - Tafe

13

Lock

Willis Meehan

Roosters

Fulltime Training Squad - Roosters

14

Interchange

Danny Levi

Knights

Storeman - Hunter Pods

15

Interchange

Joseph Tapine

Knights

Certificate 4 Small Business Traineeship

16

Interchange

Addin Fonua-Blake

Dragons

Meat Packer - Aust Wholsale Meat / Cert 3/4 Fitness

17

Interchange

Kane Elgey

Titans

Landscape Gardener

 

Coach

Mick Crawley

Knights