Norman still growing says Henjak - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Norman still growing says Henjak

Wayne Heming 23/12/2010 05:58:47 PM Comments (0)

Corey Norman started last NRL season with the Brisbane Broncos with the promise of becoming something special.

The then 18 year-old, who played 10 games, was the talk of rugby league after pulling on Karmichael Hunt's vacant No.1 jumper and turning in a blinder against North Queensland in round one.

Norman grabbed the headlines with four line breaks and an impressive three try assists, holding the fullback spot for the first five games until another young gun, Josh Hoffman, made the position his for the rest of the season.

Later in the year he stepped into captain Darren Lockyer's No.6 jumper as a possible glimpse into the future, although his size may eventually dictate where he eventually ends up in the Broncos backline.

Norman is still growing and while coach Ivan Henjak sees him as a fullback/five-eighth back-up, he admits he could well end up playing in the centres.

Some onlookers have already suggested Norman could develop into a similar player to South Sydney five-eighth John Sutton whose size and ball skills make him difficult to defend.

Norman is still capable of developing into a special footballer, the question is where.

"He plays pretty similar (to Sutton) and he's a left-footer as well," said Henjak of the early comparisons.

"Corey's only 19, he's still growing into his body.

"He covers a few spots for us but I'm not sure where he'll fill in right now.

"He can play fullback and if Darren (Lockyer) or Wal (Peter Wallace) go down, he's a halfback as well for us."

A solidly framed teenager, Norman may even prove to be a centre prospect if he continues growing over the next few years.

"I haven't thought too much about him other than those positions but down the track, who knows, he might be able to handle centre, he's quite a versatile kid," said Henjak.

"He might end up as big as Hodgo (centre Justin Hodges) and get up around the 100 kilo mark yet."

Despite his eye-catching start to last season, the grind and weekly pressures of the NRL eventually caught up with Norman.

"It caught up with a lot of them (young players)," said Henjak.

"It was a great experience for him.

"Everyone likes him and he feels really comfortable there now which is one of the things he got out of last year."

Henjak, who unearthed NRL rookie of the year Matt Gillett last season, has been impressed with the attitude of several youngsters during pre-season training.

"Some of the young kids have surprised me with the way they've handled training, guys like (Mitchell) Frei, (Aaron) Witchurch and Jack Reed, there's heaps of them going well," he said.

"Frei is only 18, he mightn't be ready, but he's way ahead of where we thought he'd be."

"Their attitude is very pleasing."

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