Brad among pack

For the first time since their Spacemen Under 18s days, Trundle’s Brad Gaut and Parkes’ Billy Burns played together in the Panthers 20s side last weekend.

Both men are signed with the Penrith Panthers, Brad plays in the 18s and Billy the 20s.

Brad (18) has now played in forwards twice with the 20s side who beat the West Tigers 38-12 on Sunday.

The previous week they lost to the Gold Coast Titans 52-32.

Brad said his move up a grade is “awesome”.

“It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had,” he said.

Brad, a former Red Bend Catholic College student, signed with the Panthers when he was 16 and moved to Sydney last year to play in the Under 18s SG Ball Competition.

He started Term 4 at Patrician Brothers College in Blacktown.

He was awarded Player of the Year on June 5 at the Junior Rep Presentation Night.

With only four weeks left before the semis, Brad is hoping to play with the 20s again this weekend.

“I have a school footy game on Thursday, it depends how I pull up from that, but hopefully I’ll be right,” he said.

In his first Head Coach position, this season’s Panthers Under 20s coach David Tangata-Toa said Brad has had a strong year with the SG Ball Competition.

“Once that was finished he started training with the NYC squad,” David said.

“He’s had two games this last month, he’s going well.

“He gets through a lot of work through the middle and carries the ball strongly.

“He works hard defensively, that’s what we need out of our middle forwards.”

David said both Parkes boys are going really well.

“Billy has been a big help to Brad, being a year older,” David said.

Brad’s long term goal is to play first grade.

“I’ll stick with the process and hopefully it all works out,” he said.