This month we have three Bears contracted players who have earned their spot to train alongside Melbourne Storm. Jake Toby (left) and Tui Katoa (right) have joined the Storm’s famous Geelong NRL summer camp. This camp is known for its intensive regime that primes the players for the season ahead. These opportunities with our pathway partner, Melbourne Storm, allows the Bears to attract the highest level of player to the club and gives the selected players valuable NRL experience that they then bring back to the red & black. Jake Toby, Tui Katoa and Regan Hughes will play in the Storm’s first trial games of 2024 when they take on the Sunshine Coast Falcons and Brisbane Tigers on the 10th February.
Jake Toby (left), Ben Stringer (centre) and Tui Katoa (right)
Local junior Ben Stringer (centre) was selected to join the Storm’s pathway player camp that saw the Storm’s Academy groups also train alongside the NRL squad for portions of the two-week training intensive camp. This is a fantastic experience for Ben who started playing rugby league in 2018 when he joined local North Sydney district junior league club Hills Hawks as an 11 year old, playing in U12s, and now is in his 6th year with the club. Ben’s skills were quickly noticed within the district, and he began his journey with the Bears joining the U12s Development Squad. Over the years, he has progressed through the red & black pathway programs being selected in U13s, U14s and U15s development squads. In 2023 he went on to be selected to represent the Bears in our Harold Matthews Cup team. Although a year young at the time, he excelled on the field as a player and a leader scoring three tries in six games. Ben has also played representative Touch Football with the Hills Hornets and the Sydney Scorpions. We are proud to call Ben a Bear and to have played an important part in the development of this young rising star, another testament to the depth and quality of the Bears football program.
Ben Stringer playing Harold Matthews Cup 2023