Bond Breaks Through into Top

ONLY the best footballers seem to bypass the Colts competition and move straight into senior competitions. Teenage Dolphin Wayne Bond is a case in point. The inside back, who bears a striking resemblance to former Queensland star Adrian Lam in both looks and playing style, has played very limited time in the under 19 Colts ranks. The starlet is now firmly entrenched in Redcliffe's Premier League side, playing five-eighth outside captain Shane Perry. The fixture against the Comets marked his fifth top appearance, one at halfback and the other four at pivot. "I really love it," he said. "It's great to be playing at this level and the sheer size, strength and speed of the players is something. "The game kicks up a notch against the top teams and I want to keep playing at this level for the rest of the year right through until the semis. "The game against Wynnum was something. It was so rough and the hits so huge. Our forwards kept belting their guys in defence and it was a real eye-opener." The match against Tweed Heads marked his first match at Dolphin Oval and he was counting on a win. Still eligible to play Colts, Bond has turned out in only two Colts fixtures in his time with the Dolphins. "I've just turned 19 and played one or two Colts matches last year before playing reserve grade," he said. "Then this year I've been in reserve grade before making the Premier League side." Redcliffe fans should make the most of this season to watch the 73 kilogram Bond in action. Last month he signed up with the Penrith Panthers and will spend next season with the Mountain Men at the foot of the Blue Mountains. His switch came as a surprise to some as he had been linked with the Sydney Roosters since he was 16. "I've been on a scholarship with the Roosters and would receive gear and attend their training camp each year," he said. "It was a big decision to go to Penrith but I was always going to go to Sydney ... it was just which club." Perhaps the Panthers see Bond as a possible replacement for livewire Preston Campbell, a player of similar stature and playing ilk. One aspect of his game they will like is his pinpoint field kicking and stab kicks into the in-goal. "I usually practise my kicking game before training. I muck around with my mates kicking,'' he said. Bond naturally has kind words for coach Anthony Griffin. "He helps me heaps in defence," he said. "He tries to help me read the play in a game. "During a game, Danny Burke is the player who talks to me a lot and encourages me throughout a game. Most of the guys talk to me during a game a bit, but Burkey really gets in my ear and I like playing with him.'' A former Albany Creek junior, Bond joined the Dolphins when he was 15. A wood machinist, he is in the second year of his four-year apprenticeship. "I would like to keep going with the job, depending on what the workload is with football," he said. The teen has an older brother and two sisters and lives at home at Burpengary. Football runs in his family as cousin Michael plays with the Toowoomba Clydesdales in the Queensland Cup. "Michael's dad and my dad are brothers," Bond said. "He has been playing in the centres but can play all the over the place. He really is a half. He played with the Clydesdales last year but is now a big unit."