Young Aaron eager to be a Brahman
RUGBY UNION: When you meet Aaron Longbottom it is hard to accept he is only 18 years of age.
The teenager is still learning about playing senior football, but if it comes down to enthusiasm and a willingness to put in the hard yards, he should have few problems in making the transition to representative level.
Last season Longbottom was a bench player with the Young Brahman side, but since then has accepted the challenge and is giving Brahmans coach Jack Lloyd junior something to think about.
Not that Longbottom has “come out of nowhere” as he has been playing rugby for years.
“I played throughout school,” the former The Cathedral College student said.
He did start as an under-7 player before his other sporting passion, golf, took over.
Now the powerful prop is trying to fit in some time to maintain his four handicap along with his regular training sessions for rugby.
If team success were the criteria to selection with the Brahmans, then Longbottom would not be under consideration. Last year he played in the second row with Dawson Valley Drovers, but that team was going through a learning curve.
Nevertheless, Longbottom enjoyed the experience.
“It was good as the Drovers have a lot of young people coming through,” he said.
Since joining up the Brahmans, Longbottom is in the minority group of young players training for the senior squad. However, should he fall short in his endeavour to make the top team, he is still young enough to qualify for the Young Brahmans.
He admits the workload is tough with the senior squad.
“We have been doing a lot of work on fitness with fitness trainer Lachlan Wells,” he said.
“We are all going to the gym as well.
“Our fitness is improving although not where we want it to be at the moment.”
However, the transition, he said, had been made a lot easier with senior players assisting and using their experience.
“I have been under the wing of old players like Anthony Pearce,” he said.
Captain Jono Bradbury is another who goes out of his way to make the squad’s young players welcome, assisting the youngsters with the new training regime.
This weekend Longbottom rejoins the younger squad members for a session at Brothers with Brisbane premier coaches Paul Healy and Tim Grady.
He said he looks forward to this as he will be learning more about the techniques for success when packing down from these “scrum doctors”.
Apart from strength and fitness, Longbottom said there were other areas of his game to refine.
“Body height (when running with the ball) and in a mauling situation,” he said.
First the prop is trying to cope with the increased speed of the game with the Brahmans as he prepares for the first trial match at Blackwater on January 23.
He sees the trials as being pivotal to his chances of becoming a 2010 Brahman, but then again so do all the squad members.
“We are all pushing for a place now,” he said.