Canberra’s youth movement ready to take on Gold Coast

Alex Mitchell |

Jamal Fogarty will show the way for the youngest Raiders backline in recent memory.
Jamal Fogarty will show the way for the youngest Raiders backline in recent memory.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has lauded the leadership of Jamal Fogarty as the halfback prepares for another battle with his former club, the Gold Coast Titans.

The Titans let Fogarty leave to join the Raiders at the end of 2021 and handed their No.7 jersey to Toby Sexton, who they’ve since released to head to Canterbury.

It’s been a different story for Fogarty in the nation’s capital, becoming the rock at the heart of an emerging Raiders outfit that’s made an impressive start to the NRL season.

“When you’ve got standards and values as a football team, you need them lived … he’s a role model in those three areas of team-first, hard work and humility,” Stuart said.

“It’s amazing when you give a player confidence and have belief in him, it’s amazing what they can actually strive to do.”

While the Titans are still trying to find their ideal halves pairing, Fogarty’s new partner Ethan Strange has hit the ground running to establish himself as the Raiders’ five-eighth of the future.

Chevy Stewart
Fullback Chevy Stewart is one of a number of emerging young guns at Canberra. (HANDOUT/CANBERRA RAIDERS)

He’ll be joined in the lineup by another teenager, his housemate Chevy Stewart, with the debutant No.1 perhaps the most exciting prospect at the club.

For Stuart, managing the expectations around the 18-year-old as he takes the role of injured veteran Jordan Rapana, was vital.

“He wants to be the best, he wants to play well, he wants to perform well obviously, but patience is a big thing, especially in the position he’s in,” he said.

“It’s been a real big month for Ethan and Chevy’s probably ridden that month with him too because they live with each other.

“I understand why players this young want to get there, but now it’s my job not to pick them too early, and make sure when I put them in there to represent the jumper, themselves and their family, that they’re ready.

“I’m not expecting him to be an expert or whatnot, I’m not going to put that pressure on him. I just want him to be good at the fundamentals of his game and the rest will look after itself.”

Strange (19 years old) and Stewart (18) are joined in the backline by James Schiller (22), Sebastian Kris (24) and Matt Timoko (24).

“For those people that watch us quite intently, they will see it’s probably the youngest backsline the Raiders have ever had,” Stuart said.

“I said it to the board … this squad is transitioning into a new football team.”