General Ah Van signs for three

Skinny_Ravs82

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www.sportal.co.nz

Rookie New Zealand Warriors winger Patrick Ah Van is fast making a name for himself in the NRL.

Ah Van has done enough in 2006 to secure his place in the first-grade side for a number of years ahead, having unexpectedly started the season as a relatively unknown force.

The 18-year-old talent, a product of Kiwis coach Brian McClennan's renowned Bartercard Cup Mt Albert side, has found a strong ally in new Warriors coach Ivan Cleary.

Ah Van says after four years of training with the Warriors' various fringe development sides, it was a dream come true when Cleary plucked him out of obscurity and put him into the first-grade side.


"This is my first year in the first-grade side but I spent about four years training in the development squad," he said.

"I'm pretty happy with my performance but there is always room for improvement and I think I am still developing and I'm capable of being a much better player."

Ah Van attributes his meteoric rise through the ranks to his strong Bartercard season for Mt Albert in 2005 and also to the advice he has gleaned from his more experienced teammates at Mt Smart Stadium.

"All the boys are all older than me and they all try and teach me at least one thing," he said. "It's awesome being around these guys and spending all day with them, they are just like family."

Meanwhile, the man that gave Ah Van his shot at first-grade football, Cleary, has nothing but praise for his young star.

"He's [Ah Van] done everything that's been asked of him and probably a little bit more," said Cleary. "He's got a long way to go obviously, but consistency-wise he's been pretty good."

"He's one of those kids who doesn't seem to get phased by too much and he's got a good head on his shoulders and good football sense."

With star Warriors fullback Brent Webb currently struggling to overcome a hip ailment, Ah Van is seen as a potential replacement for him.

Despite Saturday's disappointing 6-36 loss at the hands of the Penrith Panthers, Ah Van was still sturdy in the unfamiliar fullback role.

However, he realistically admits there is still a lot for him to learn as a No.1, unsurprisingly given he plays most of his football on the wing.

"I still need to learn a bit but at the moment I am feeling pretty confident now," he said of filling in for an injured Webb at the back.

Ah Van's trademark dashing runs from deep inside his own territory, however, are set to remain in full focus for some years to come with the young speedster just signing a new deal with the club.

"I just signed a new deal for three years and I'm happy with that so I just need to gel with the other young guys," he said.

The Warriors take on the Cronulla Sharks at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday night.
 

ONETRIBECHIEF_old

Guest
It feels good that we are signing all our young talent

To bad we didn't do the same with Motu Tony and Shonytane Hape who are now two good quality international players.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
When it comes down to those sorts of situations, you win some and lose some I guess. Would have been nice if we'd kept some of our old guns; but then if we did we wouldn't see the likes of Ah Van and co now would we? Or maybe we would have but not with us
 

warriorfaithful*_old

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It's awesome to see all these players being retained. (ah van, tuimavave,rovelli,rapira, etc etc) The future of the club looks good for some warriors domination in the years to come!!! :)
 

Skinny_Ravs82

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warriorfaithful* said:
It's awesome to see all these players being retained. (ah van, tuimavave,rovelli,rapira, etc etc) The future of the club looks good for some warriors domination in the years to come!!! :)

And the future is where we want to look to :mrgreen:
 

Jesbass_old

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ONETRIBECHIEF said:
It feels good that we are signing all our young talent

To bad we didn't do the same with Motu Tony and Shonytane Hape who are now two good quality international players.

Without the benefit of hindsight, I think we were right to let Hape go. He was sidelined for all but one game of the season through injury, and there were better ways to spend our money at the time.
 

*~*Fa'AhVaN*~*_old

Guest
im glad to c weve secured ah van for atleast three years by then we shouldve at least made minor premiers, cant wait ill next season, iv got a good feeling we'll b unstoppable n ever team will fear us!!
 

warriorfaithful*_old

Guest
TUAKURA***AHVAN said:
im glad to c weve secured ah van for atleast three years by then we shouldve at least made minor premiers, cant wait ill next season, iv got a good feeling we'll b unstoppable n ever team will fear us!!

I agree with you mate. I just have the feeling that all this development and signings of young players etc is going to build for a warriors domination in the nrl in the years to come!
 

Skinny_Ravs82

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Definitely good for Blinky! Hehe, he has certainly shown some good all around skills so far and he's taken his chances. Good on him
 

commonsense_old

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Jesbass said:
ONETRIBECHIEF said:
It feels good that we are signing all our young talent

To bad we didn't do the same with Motu Tony and Shonytane Hape who are now two good quality international players.

Without the benefit of hindsight, I think we were right to let Hape go. He was sidelined for all but one game of the season through injury, and there were better ways to spend our money at the time.

yeh that was true.

but we shouldnt have let motu tony go.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
commonsense said:
Jesbass said:
ONETRIBECHIEF said:
It feels good that we are signing all our young talent

To bad we didn't do the same with Motu Tony and Shonytane Hape who are now two good quality international players.

Without the benefit of hindsight, I think we were right to let Hape go. He was sidelined for all but one game of the season through injury, and there were better ways to spend our money at the time.

yeh that was true.

but we shouldnt have let motu tony go.
 

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