By Saavanah Bourke
It all started two years ago, when Burleigh Bears veteran Jamal Fogarty stubbled across a young and talented 19 year old Indigenous halfback named Shallin Fuller.
Playing for the Beaudesert Kingfishers Junior Rugby League Club at the time, Forgarty’s words influenced Fuller’s rugby league career for the better.
“Jamal played a big part in me moving over to the Burleigh Bears,” Shallin Fuller said.
“He came up to me at a game I was playing at in Beaudesert and he knew my story and saw my potential and wanted me to have a future at the club.”
That’s exactly what happened, Fuller finishing off his 2019 season with the Burleigh Bears in the Hasting Deering Colts competition.
Last year he continued to grow with the club, playing in the Gold Coast A Grade QTOP competition, and in a year like no other, it was an experience he came out stronger from.
“I really loved it, it was a great learning opportunity for me,” Fuller said.
“I only had a couple of games in A Grade when I played in Colts the previous year, but playing against full grown men every week was really challenging.
“It gave me a better understanding of how to play the game and I really improved from it.”
Now approaching his third year with the Bears, Fuller has raised the bar for himself yet again in 2021.
“My main goal this year is to play a game in the Intrust Super Cup.
“I believe I’m more than ready for it at any time this year.”
Friday nights trial against the Gold Coast Titans was the ultimate test, where Fuller proved he’s a worthy contender.
“I had a different feeling going out onto the field in this years Titans trial.
“Going up against a club like the Titans and their full time playing group had me scared and worried last year.
“This year I was hungry to get out there and show everyone what I’ve got.”
But the main message Fuller has taken from his Indigenous idol is, in the game of rugby league timing is everything, and Fogarty is one who knows that best.
“He’s taught me the mentality of not to rush, just be patient, and my time will come.
“Hopefully I’ll be like him some day, and when my time does come, I’ll just take it.”
Aside from playing in the Intrust Super Cup, Fuller has his sights set on even bigger long term goals.
“Playing in the NRL has been a dream of mine since I was a kid.
“My family has been behind me ever since I first picked up a football.”
And for the 21-year old, family is everything.
“It was pretty hard when I was growing up because Mum was a single parent.
“My family is my main motivation. I do it for myself, but I also do it for them.”
Coming to the end of what he believes to be his best pre-season yet, Fuller hopes to showcase his improved knowledge of the game in the club’s upcoming trials.
“There is a lot of talent here at Burleigh and in these trial matches you have to show that you want that position more than the person next to you.
“My intentions during these trial matches is to just go out there and give it 100 percent.”
The Bears next trial game is against Easts Tigers on Saturday.