Forbes rugby league talent Charlie Staines has capped a stellar first year in Sydney by being named the Jersey Flegg competition's Player of the Year.
The honour was announced at the NSW Rugby League Brad Fittler Medal Award night, the event that recognises and celebrates the achievements of players across all NSWRL teams and competitions, from Origin to seniors, juniors, women and Indigenous, as well as the contributions of referees, club officials and volunteers.
Staines was also named Penrith's Jersey Flegg player of the year at the club's Merv Cartwright presentation night.
Staines moved to Sydney to play with the Penrith Panthers this year - after taking two premierships with the Forbes Magpies in 2018 - and kicked off the season in the Jersey Flegg competition.
The fullback was promoted to the Canterbury Cup, the tier of competition under the NRL, and played seven games with the Panthers at that level.
We've trained well all week, so hopefully we can get the win and get into the grand final.Charlie Staines, Penrith Panthers Jersey Flegg fullback
The Forbes product scored three tries and man of the match honours as the side powered into the finals series, only to meet their match in the Wentworthville Magpies.
This weekend he will run on wearing the number 1 in the Jersey Flegg side as the Panthers meet the Rabbitohs in the preliminary finals, that meeting set for Netstrata Jubilee Stadium at 12.50pm on Saturday September 21.
"We've trained well all week," Staines said yesterday, with his hopes set on a win and a grand final berth.
Running on with Staines is Dubbo product Matt Burton at number 7, and Trundle's Brad Gaut is number 16.
It's probably a bit hard to believe it's only been a year since Staines won both Under 18s and first grade premierships with the Forbes Magpies in the Group 11 grand finals, life has changed dramatically with his move to the Panthers.
Staines has loved his first year in the big league, with the opportunity to step up to the Canterbury Cup competition a highlight.
The game is faster, the players are bigger, and he's loved the challenge.
Working as a teacher's aide during the day, Staines also has a hectic training schedule and it's that dedication to training and preparation that he says is the biggest thing he's learned this year.
There's formal training four days a week, but "trying to train every day and eat healthy" is a big part of the lifestyle change he's taken on with his move.
Once the season wraps up, Staines expects to get the chance to come home and spend some time with family in Forbes.
Best of luck, Charlie, for this weekend's game! We hope to see you and the Panthers in the grand final!