Bostock’s sharp focus on starting spot

Published 11:07am 23 January 2024

Bostock’s sharp focus on starting spot
Words by Kylie Knight

Jack Bostock feels stronger than he did this time last year and, with a year of training and a handful of NRL games under his belt, he’s keen to force his way into the starting squad more in 2024.

The 20-year-old spoke after training today about how he’s working to secure a starting spot on the wing and how his coaches and teammates are helping him.

Bostock, who can also play centre, made his NRL debut for the Dolphins in April last year, after coming to the club on a three-year deal, from the Illawarra Steelers.

The young gun impressed in the Dragons’ pathway system and during performances for the New South Wales Under 19s State of Origin team in 2022.

But it’s his first 12 months with the Dolphins that’s had the greatest impact on his game.

“This is probably the most I’ve ever learnt in my whole 15 years of playing footy,” he says.

Bostock says it’s due to a combination of insights provided by coaching staff and other players.

“It’s definitely more the coaching staff. We have a really good coaching staff with Wayne, Woolfie and Fieny. They all know a lot about the game and they’ve all been around the game for a long time, so I’ve got to put it down to those three. I’ve learnt the most from them,” he explains.

His teammates have also helped develop his game, even those who he’ll be competing against to secure a spot in the starting team – Edrick Lee, Tesi Niu, Jake Averillo and Jamayne Isaako.

“It’s been really good. Everyone helps each other out on things … obviously every player has got something different they bring to the table, so we can all help each other out to make everyone better. It’s all better for us, makes the competition better and makes us all train better,” Bostock says.

He’s been working closely with Dolphins newcomer Jake Averillo whom he expects will be on the field in round one after recovering from a knee injury.

“He’s a really good player, so it helps defending and attacking with him. He’s been around the game a while … he’s only young but he’s been there for a long time and he knows a lot, so he’s been helping me out a fair bit,” Bostock says.

“Good players tend to help out players around them which he’s really been doing.

“I’ve (also) been doing a lot with Jamayne this year after training, doing some extras. He was wonderful last year so whatever I can take from him, I’ll take on board and put it towards my game.”

Bostock’s sharp focus on starting spot

Watching and learning

Is there a winger in the NRL Bostock wants to emulate?

“I like to take a few things from different wingers’ games. I like to watch the tall wingers in the game, see how they play and take a little bit from that. I watched Daniel Tupou as a kid. He’s still getting around and he’s an excellent winger … so I take a little bit from him where I can, watching him play,” he says.

Bostock will be working hard to get a run in the Dolphins’ first trial game against the Capras in Rockhampton on February 10, with his sights set on bigger goals this season.

“I’d like to be in the NRL team a lot more consistently this year. I know last year I played a few games, but I was a bit in and out of the team. I got four games last year, so I feel like this year I just want to stay in the team consistently. Once I get in there, who knows what happens,” he says.

At 194cm and about 97kg (according to his Dolphins player profile), he’s also working hard to bulk up without too much success yet.

“It’s not too good in this heat. Yesterday was a scorcher. I’m putting it on bit by bit, but not too much. I’m still fairly skinny. It’s been a tough battle,” he says.

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