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Blake Mozer has 'NRL written all over him'

Good judges say Brisbane Broncos-contracted Queensland Under 17 City hooker Blake Mozer has "NRL written all over him" as the tall rake from Keebra Park High takes the next step in his rugby league career.

Blake, an intelligent dummy-half who idolises Queensland Maroons legend Cameron Smith, has already enjoyed one of the best groundings a young footballer could hope for and has his sights on playing Intrust Super Cup next year.

The Broncos have wrapped the 17-year-old up until the end of 2023 and he has come through the club's Elite Player Development program. It was in the EPD squad where Blake learned plenty from the likes of former EPD athletic performance coach David Ballard, now the club's head of performance.

"I have been there since I was 13, and signed since I was 15," Blake, who played for Tweed in the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup side, said.

Grand final highlights: Blackhawks v Tweed

"The Broncos have developed me brilliantly. I wouldn't be here without the Broncos. Their development is awesome.

"The highlight for me has been the one-on-one training you get from them.  Dave Ballard, who is up with the NRL squad now, and Mick Kennedy, have worked on my speed and skills. They focus on the little things that refine your game.

"Now that I am getting older, it is more about strength and the fitness component to get me ready for the next chapter after school.

"The Broncos obviously see something in me in my position and for me it is about working hard to get to play NRL one day... but it's step by step, starting with the City game against Country.

"I am looking forward to it. It is the last game of the year before pre-season starts, so it is good to have a bit of rep footy finally after all this COVID has happened."

Blake said he was "more or less" six feet tall; something he said he would work to his advantage when City play Country at Moreton Daily Stadium on October 2 at 2.20pm. 

"It is weird not being the stereotypical short and stocky dummy-half but I have used it to my advantage," Blake said.

Blake Mozer in action for Tweed. Photo: Dylan Parker Photography
Blake Mozer in action for Tweed. Photo: Dylan Parker Photography

"I have never been that fast and strong so I have used my head to get me to where I am. Playing smart footy is a big part of my role, and using my skills.

"Being tall has its advantages and its disadvantages as well."

Smith wasn't the fastest or strongest either, but none were smarter.

"I got the opportunity to go to Melbourne and watch the Storm where I met Cameron Smith," Blake said.

"He has obviously been my biggest inspiration. There aren't many that have ever compared to him.

"I like watching the next generation now and particularly a guy like Harry Grant. He is similar to Cameron Smith in the way he thinks, and he is agile which is something I want to include into my game."

Blake was the captain of the First XIII Keebra Park High side this year and head coach Glen Campbell said he was a gem to coach and had a big future.

"I don't say this very often but Blake has NRL written all over him and it has been that way for a few years now," Campbell said.

"He has strength in defence and attack, he is intelligent, his pass is good and he has the tactics. Hence he was picked for the Australian Schoolboy merit side this year.

"He is signed to the Broncos and they will be hanging on to him for grim death. He's that good.

"Blake reminds me of the Pommie hooker at Canberra [Josh Hodgson] with his thinking game. He is quite tall but he will fill out. As the weight comes on him he will be a physical nine and will handle defence in the middle in the NRL."

Blake is one of the new breed of young rugby league players with his media skills and eloquence away from the football field. He said his experience at powerhouse school Keebra Park had been crucial to his development too.

"As a Year Seven kid I watched Payne Haas in his final year at the school and it is pretty surreal to think that I could be training with him soon," Blake said.

"I have been fortunate to have had people like Mr Campbell, Mr [Greg] Lenton, Mr [Peter] Norman and Mr [James] Chapman at Keebra Park. They are all just as important to me as the Broncos.

"James is actually the strength and conditioning coach of our City team and Peter Norman has been the brains of our Keebra Park team as our assistant coach."

Blake is now ready to take the next step in his footballing journey.

"I played at Tweed this year but I will make the change to play at a Broncos feeder club next year, at Souths," Blake said.

"I am still eligible for Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup, so I will probably start there and try and work my way up to Cup."