MacDermott on verge of Queensland honour

BUNDABERG'S Harry MacDermott is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The talented 15-year-old was selected as a shadow player for the Queensland under-16 boys' team which will contest the national championships in Ballarat next month.

This means he will need to rely on a squad member withdrawing from the titles before he can don the maroon for the first time.

"I'm hoping for an injury (to one of the other guys) in the nicest possible way," MacDermott joked.

"I was slightly disappointed I didn't make the final team, but it's a great honour to be recognised as one of the top 14 under-16 players in the state."

After gaining selection in a 30-strong train-on squad late last year, it was not until after the conclusion of the state Classics the final make-up of the team was decided.

Following several years in Division one, MacDermott said his team did "pretty well" to finish fifth in Division two.

"We ended up winning four of our six games, which included our final three, so this year we enjoyed being competitive in the lower division rather than being outclassed in the higher grade," he said.

While he knows he is an outside shot of boarding the plane to Ballarat, the small forward said he was learning as much as he could at weekend training camps in Brisbane.

"We're going over a lot of team structure, and how the coaches want the team to play in both offence and defence,'' MacDermott said.

A bright future awaits the Shalom College student, who has already been earmarked for senior Bundaberg duties after originally being chosen in the Bundaberg Bulls squad, but he said he stepped down once he was in the running to represent his state.

"After I found out I made the Queensland team I had to make a decision because it's a big commitment with lots of training in Brisbane,'' he said.

Not one to take things one day at a time, MacDermott said the sniff of donning a Queensland singlet had inspired him to work harder to achieve his ultimate goal.

"My aim is to make the under-18 state team in 2008 when I'm a top-age player,'' he said.

"I'd like to be picked for the squad next year, but I won't be worried if I don't because I'll only be 16.

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