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Broncos, Bulldogs and Cowboys in tussle for teen Anderson

DAUNTING DECISION: Carlin Anderson faces the biggest decision of his fledgling footy career as he chooses an NRL club to sign with.
DAUNTING DECISION: Carlin Anderson faces the biggest decision of his fledgling footy career as he chooses an NRL club to sign with. Kate Czerny

WHILE most young players would envy him, being at the centre of a three-way NRL club tug-of-war for his services hasn't been easy for Carlin Anderson.

When Anderson spoke to the QT, he had just finished work sandblasting as part of his job as a painter for Maxcon Industries.

It is work he is unlikely to be doing for much longer.

Anderson has a meeting with the Brisbane Broncos today.

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have expressed interest and the North Queensland Cowboys have a two-year contract offer on the table.

"I'll do what's best for me," Anderson said.

"I'd be happy to stay with the Broncos and play for the Jets as their feeder club next season.

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"It is a daunting decision. But I've got a good manager in Clinton Schifcofske. Ben and Shane (Walker) have helped me as well."

Whoever Anderson signs for, he expects to play under-20s or for their feeder club.

"It would be good to get back to the Q Cup because it's a better comp against men," he said.

At 18, the NRL top grade is not in his immediate sights just yet.

But if you'd told Anderson a year ago he would have NRL clubs fighting for his signature, he would have said "you're bloody joking".

This time last year he was about to finish school at Ipswich Grammar and joined the Ipswich Jets just hoping to play colts.

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What happened next surprised almost everyone, including Anderson, though maybe not Jets' co-coaches Ben and Shane Walker.

Anderson began cutting opposition teams to ribbons in the Queensland Cup, revelling in the Jets' free-wheeling style.

So it is no surprise he would like to stay with the Jets and Broncos in 2015.

"I've never felt so good playing footy," Anderson said.

"It was the best footy of my life.

"The Walkers gave me a lot of confidence.

"I managed to pull off a few good games.

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"Playing outside (centre) Brendon Marshall helped a lot.

"I think I got better each week."

A five-eighth or centre previously, Anderson had to learn wing play on the job.

But a winger for the Jets this year meant doing the work of a forward at times and bobbing up all over the backline at others.

It has convinced Anderson his future is at fullback, roaming the field looking to turn half-chances into breaks.

"That's the way I play," he said.

"I try to get the ball in hand."

STAR RISING

  • Biggest influence: Probably my dad Greg.
  • Favourite player: Anthony Watmough. I just like the way he plays.
  • Pre-game ritual: I like to listen to my own music.

Topics:  brisbane broncos carlin anderson ipswich jets north queensland cowboys nrl



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