Grant Anderson is currently making his mark in the game as a centre, but one thing he wants to do one day is earn himself a start in the No.9 jersey.
A new signing with Sunshine Coast Falcons this season, the utility back has played pretty much everywhere on the rugby league field and has the jerseys to match. All except that No.9.
“I can cover a range of positions really, it doesn’t really bother me, but I am trying to lock down one position, the centre spot,” Anderson said.
“I haven’t actually started a game at hooker in my life... I want to, I have subbed in there, but I haven’t worn the nine yet, the only number.
“I made my first grade debut on the wing in my local club, so No.9 I have to tick off one day," Anderson - who said he "certainly wasn't a hooker and won't be playing No. 9 this year" joked.
“I grew up playing in the forwards because I wasn’t the biggest or the fastest, used to play 10 minutes either side of halftime in under 15s, so then I kind of grew and went to lock and then I played in the halves.
“I played SG Ball (with Newcastle Knights) in the halves in under 18s and in 20s, I was playing five-eighth, centre and fullback… me and Tex (Hoy) were just swapping really, and then I just kind of migrated to the centre because I am a strong runner.
“Then last year, (at Northern Pride) Jayden Corrigan got injured – and I have played fullback before – so I did a job there really, Tybo (coach Ty Williams) asked if I could stay there and obviously I would do whatever is best for the team.”
Anderson enjoyed his time at Pride – a club that got him back into a higher level of football again after returning home from his stint with Newcastle to play in his local league competition in Charlestown, but the Falcons were able to offer new opportunities to him to improve his game.
“I was just at work in last February around this time last year and my manager just said there’s a spot up in north Queensland with the Pride if I wanted to take it and I kind of just got in my car and left really,” Anderson said of his move to Pride.
“Left me girlfriend at home and my family – it’s been a pretty crazy 12 months to look at where I was being a chippie back at home playing local league, into a trial at Melbourne and on the verge, so it’s been a pretty hectic 12 months.
“The Pride were really good, they welcomed me in... I had Tommy Steadman who I knew briefly, all the boys up there, Tybo, I have major respect for them and what they did for me.
“(I moved to Falcons for a) better opportunity, I did a whole pre-season with Melbourne Storm, the Falcons were able to link me to there and I ended up playing a trial... which I have been pushing towards for a long time now and hopefully something comes from that.
“It was a late decision to go to Pride last year, so I missed the pre-season up there, but the pre-season was really, really difficult at the start, but once your body gets used to it, it was alright.
“Towards Chrissie I was able to go to IDQ camp and do the three-day camp, so that was an eye-opener and tested your mental strengths and everything else.
“It was one of the toughest things I have even done as well, just the sleep side of things and the mental drain of the activities you do and you just need to be switched on 24/7 while you are there.
“It just takes it out of you and you have to give your best effort every time.”
Inside Storm: Episode 1 - I Don't Quit
While he’s enjoyed a productive pre-season so far, Anderson is hoping to see more success on the field and thinks the Falcons will be ready to produce a strong season under the guidance of new coach Brad Henderson.
“We have got a good core of experience there as well as young people who have played a couple years and some young kids coming through as well," Anderson said.
"We have a pretty young squad, but I reckon we’ll go very well, hopefully will go well this year.
“Obviously, the boys who retired last year leave a bit of a hole, but with the six-again call and how quick the game is now – from Pride’s last season too, we had a pretty young crew there and we didn’t go too bad for the year, so hopefully it reflects that and we can do the same at the Falcons.
Murphy, Hogan and Cordwell close chapter on Cup careers
“Team-wise, I would like to see us top four, I like to think we have a squad that can go top four, and obviously win the GF, I don’t like losing so that’s a major one.”
Sunshine Coast Falcons gains and losses
Gains: Luke Jurd (Tweed Seagulls), Grant Anderson (Northern Pride), Ryan Turner (Redcliffe Dolphins), Lazarus Vaalepu (Wynnum Manly Seagulls), Ammaron Gudgeon (Central Queensland Capras), Max Bailey (North Sydney Bears), Jake Maizen (Central Queensland Capras), Danny Heenan (Norths Devils), Darryn Schonig (Melbourne Storm), Daniel Atkinson (Melbourne Storm), Jack Gibbons (Central Queensland Capras), Harrison O’Toole (Wentworthville Magpies), Kauri Aupori-Puketapa (Blacktown Sea Eagles), Myles Gal (Central Queensland Capras)
Losses: Dane Hogan (retired), Todd Murphy (retired), Martin Cordwell (retired), Tom Geraghty (retired), Jarrod Mullen (retired), Kurt Baptiste (retired), Dalton Smith (retired), Sam Bernstrom (retired), Paul Ulberg (London Broncos), Jack Aiken (Redcliffe Dolphins)
Other Hostplus Cup club gains and losses
PNG Hunters: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Wynnum Manly Seagulls: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Brisbane Tigers: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Burleigh Bears: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Norths Devils: Cup gains and losses for 2022
Redcliffe Dolphins: Cup gains and losses for 2022
*Submissions made by clubs and correct at time of publication.