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Horne hones in on Devils Cup team

Norths Devils young gun Liam Horne is determined to have a cracking season at the club and solidify a spot in the Intrust Super Cup team. 

The 22-year-old hooker, who has donned blue and yellow for five years now, played three Cup games in 2019 and is hungry for more. 

Horne was part of the Hastings Deering Colts team that beat Townsville Blackhawks 20-16 in the grand final in 2018; a team that also included exceptional talents David Fauid, Cory Paix, Ethan Bullemor, Jordan Riki and Kobe Hetherington. 

"I've gone through all of the grades - from under 16s up to Cup," Horne said.

Horne said there were two highlights for him so far - winning the Colts grand final and his Cup debut last year against Tweed Seagulls.

The Norths Devils' Hastings Deering Colts 2018 champions.
The Norths Devils' Hastings Deering Colts 2018 champions.

"I think I was 19th man and a couple of people pulled out and I got the call up," Horne, who hails from Darwin, said.

"I just grew up playing rugby league, I love it. Mainly because of the boys - it's a team sport and I'm a team player. I just like to compete. I'm a competitor. 

"Obviously the end goal is the play NRL and I want to play at an international level for Papua New Guinea - that's my goal.

"But this year, I want to win a premiership."

The Wavell State High School product, whose mum is from PNG and dad from Australia, said he looked up to players like James Segeyaro, "as a No.9".

Liam Horne.
Liam Horne.

And from school, Horne said there were plenty to look up to. 

"We had a bloke, Jackson Frei, who is at the Warriors... I reckon he will get his NRL debut this year. His brother is here - Brendan," Horne said. 

Horne, inspired by success stories around him, said he was focused on stepping up this year. 

"Obviously I just want to be good defensively... make all my tackles, lead the middle in defence and attack," Horne said.

"And just make sure all of my passes are 100 per cent accurate to my halves. Nothing behind them, just always in front so they can play early, play a good shape. 

"I think we have a squad that can go all the way to the nationals against the Canterbury Cup team. I reckon we'll go all the way.

"Jack Ahearn, he's probably the best trainer and player I've played with so far. He's just something else. He's so fit. When he's under fatigue, he's always chatting still. He's got good leadership skills, he knows his footy. 

Jack Ahearn.
Jack Ahearn.

"Mikey Sio is another one. He's got a bit of experience behind him in the Super League. So, he's another one I like training with, playing with. 

"Pre-season has been really good. Enjoyable. All of the boys have been buying in to what we're about, which is good.

"Rohan (Smith) has a great mind. He's got a different aspect to footy, to other coaches. I love it. Bring on 2020."