Year 10 student Charlie Staines took a step closer to achieving his dream this week when he signed a two-year NRL Player Development contract with the Penrith Panthers Rugby League Club.
NRL talent scouts have been watching Charlie for some time and the offer came after recommendations based on the skills and abilities Charlie has displayed in both club and representative football competitions.
Charlie will continue his schooling at Forbes High School for the next twelve months. The Panthers will assist with costs associated with any representative football he is involved in including the Western Rams and Country NSW. He will be provided with strength and conditioning, diet and training programs to further develop his talent over the year at which time he will be considered for a pre-season program in preparation for the inclusion in the Under 18 squad and possible relocation to Sydney.
Charlie attended and participated in training camps with the Cronulla Sharks and Canberra Raiders this year too. He and his family are taking everything in their stride, but they are excited by the prospects the signing will bring in the future. Charlie will compete with his local team, the Forbes Junior Magpies U16’s, in the grand final of the local competition in a couple of weeks before flying to Samoa to fulfil his representative commitments with the NSW Country side on the long weekend in October.
By Anita Morrison