Rising footy star

By Kirra Livingstone

BEERWAH Bulldogs junior Mitch Jennings is having the season of a lifetime after debuting for the Maroons U19 squad and training with the Melbourne Storm Academy squad as he vies for an NRL debut in 2024.

The talented centre had a tough game in last week’s 32-14 loss to NSW, but former coach Glen Tomokino, said Mitch was his own toughest critic and could learn from the loss.

“He played really good, but he wasn’t very happy with his game, he did his job but there were a few instances where he felt he didn’t play well but he was very hard on himself,” said Glen, who coached Mitch in the Under 14, 15s, and 16 Bulldog teams.

“Mitch trains hard, he knows what he wants to do, he wants to play as hard as he can and as good as he can and that’s the reason that he’s up there.”

Mitch is now in the Melbourne Storm Academy, where he has a development contract to play in the NSW Under 21 Jersey Flegg Cup.

“He is playing with the U21s but every now and then the squad trains with the NRL Melbourne Storm team, which he is hoping to play for by next year,” Glen said.

“But as we know there are a lot of good players in the Melbourne Storm squad, if he makes it, he makes it and if he doesn’t he’s just happy where he is.”

The centre rose up the ranks from playing in the U12s Queensland Schoolboys to recently playing for the U18s Sunshine Coast Falcons at the Mal Meninga Cup last year.

He also played in the 2022 A Grade grand final alongside his brother Nicholas Jennings, after starting the season in the U18s squad and going directly to the A Grade side after a few weeks.

Glen said it was clear from early on the Mitch could go a long way in league.

“You could see that Mitch was one of those special ones, and he trained hard, he listened and he always a very quiet person but he’s very vocal on the paddock,” he said.

“He has developed a lot especially in the last few weeks, he’s a really great teammate, he’s very coachable and it shows with what’s happening for him this year.”