Testing times for Bulldogs' Idris - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Testing times for Bulldogs' Idris

By Samantha Broun 24/09/2009 05:45:31 PM Comments (0)

Bulldogs schoolboy winger Jamal Idris is preparing for two of the biggest tests of his life - and is taking it all in his giant stride.

While teenagers around Australia are bunkering down to study for their final examinations, Idris has needed to find a balance between his HSC commitments and playing a key role in the Bulldogs NRL finals campaign.

Idris elected to undertake his HSC studies over two years at De La Salle College, Bankstown and will sit his exam for construction on November 2.

The Dally M rookie of the year is fulfilling both his school and club commitments while receiving plenty of support from those around him, Bulldogs spokesman Frank Barrett said.

Bulldogs veteran fullback Luke Patten has been lending support to Idris and sharing his experience of bursting on to the NRL scene as a teenager, while offering advice on how to cope with demands on and off the field.

Head trainer and former Bulldogs welfare officer Tony Grimaldi also works closely with the laid back 19-year-old and offers plenty of guidance and support.

Barrett said the club encourages Idris to apply himself to his school work as he would to his game.

"School is something that the Bulldogs are very keen for him to keep doing and he's doing a really good job of it," Barrett said.

"All of those challenges he's had thrown at him as a 19-year-old he continues to handle.

"He describes himself like a little puppy dog at school, everyone wants to pat him and say hello.

"Throughout the year, he's had to do weights early to go and take exams.

"Jamal has made some professional development steps along the way that the Bulldogs are very pleased with."

Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore said his more experienced squad members are rallying around Idris and other youngsters in his side in the lead up to the biggest match of their careers, the preliminary final clash against the Eels on Friday night at ANZ Stadium.

"Our preparation has been really good and after a weekend off last week, it's been fairly relaxed," Moore said.

"We've been managing our team in the build up and keeping our eye on the young ones. They've been enjoying the occasion.

"We've got a lot of experience around the team too which is handy, look at our key players, Brett Kimmorley, Luke Patten and Andrew Ryan and Hazem, David Stagg and Ben Hannant - they've all played Origin.

"We're pretty well equipped from that point of view, some young blokes are going to taste this for the first time but I'm really confident they'll handle it."

Idris has scored seven tries in 19 games and has been a key player for the Bulldogs, who finished second on the NRL ladder after taking out the wooden spoon last year.

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