Glenmore Park teenager Keegan Woods hopes to one day put his OzTag skills to the test by living out his dream of playing in the NRL.
The Year 11 St Dominic’s College student has only played the popular sport for three years but is already competing at the highest level.
Last week the 16-year-old took out the award for Most Valuable Player at the Australian Junior OzTag Championships when he captained his U17 West Sydney Tigers side to tournament glory.
West Sydney’s 5-4 win over Sunshine Coast in the final was a huge triumph for the local representative side after they finished third two years in a row.
“I’ve played at this tournament for the past two years and this is the best we’ve ever finished,” Keegan told the Weekender.
“The majority of the players were from the Penrith area plus a few from Norwest. Winning the MVP award and scoring 14 tries across nine games were great highlights for me.”
After leading his team in tries scored and ‘wowing’ the Coffs Harbour crowd with his incredible speed and dazzling footwork, Keegan hopes to one day follow in the footsteps of NRL superstars Matt Moylan and Shaun Johnson.
The exciting pair began their playing careers on both the OzTag and touch football circuit before taking the leap into rugby league.
“100 per cent, I definitely would like to progress to rugby league in the future,” Keegan admitted.
“I’m looking to go into C Grade next year but I need to improve my defence and playmaking skills.”
While Keegan harbours a dream of playing in the NRL, he still has quite a bit achieve in the world of OzTag including representing the West Sydney Tigers at the upcoming U20’s Australian OzTag Championships.
Keegan’s selection was something to marvel after he became the only 16-year-old Penrith OzTag player to be selected in the hugely competitive side.
Keegan admitted he was surprised at how far he’s come since taking up the sport at 13.
“Coming through soccer and rugby league my Dad always said that I had good footwork, so he put into OzTag and touch and I’ve gradually got better,” he said.
“It certainly has caught me by surprise at how well I’ve done but it’s a challenge that I’m enjoying.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for nearly a decade.