PAPUA New Guinea Hunters rookie Stanton Albert said he would not be where he is today, if it were not for his coaches and trainers.
The 19-year-old prop, whose meteoric rise almost mirrors his brother Wellington’s, 20, credited his mentors at the Hela Wigmen in Stanley Hondina and Andrew Andiki, as well as the SP Hunters staff of head coach Michael Marum and chief trainer Jason Tassell, for their guidance and advice.
“If it wasn’t for them (coaches and trainers), I don’t think I would have got this far,” Albert said.
“Their advice and encouragement helped me a lot and it has brought me to where I am now.
“Their help was very important and I am thankful for it.
“They have helped me develop my skills and taught me how to use my talent,” he said.
Albert is in Sydney to start a two-year stint at the Penrith Panthers, joining Wellington, who is part of head coach Ivan Cleary’s 25-man first grade squad for 2015.
The pair flew out on Saturday after spending the Christmas and New Year period with family in Mendi, Southern Highlands.
Albert will follow in his brother’s footsteps, playing his first season at the club for their Holden Cup (U20s) side.
The highlights of his 2014 season were playing his second year of Digicel Cup football for the Wigmen, before being recruited by the Hunters early in the season and playing eight Queensland Cup matches.
Albert was then named in the Junior Kumuls team for the inaugural Commonwealth Games Nines tournament in Glasgow, Scotland, last June where he led his country to a pulsating 22-8 victory over Australia in the final.
He was subsequently named the player of the tournament.
The 185cm, 104kg forward capped of his stellar year with selection in the PNG Prime Minister’s XIII that played Australia in October.
Albert was signed up by the Panthers on December 16 on a two-year contract similar to Wellington’s deal.
The Albert brothers are the two youngest in a family of six from the Sol village, Mendi, SHP.
A family member of the Albert’s, Nick Toli, said every rugby league player in the country dreamed of playing in the National Rugby League and it was an amazing achievement to have two players from the same tribe vying for a career in the NRL.
Toli said the two brothers had brought pride and prestige to the family members, tribesmen and country as a whole.
“It’s a proud moment for us, the Albert family and Mendpho tribesmen in Mendi, after we realised that young Wellington and Stanton Albert’s dream of playing together and in the NRL was a reality,” Toli said.
“Our input in their lives, in terms of caring for them and sharing their burdens, were not a waste but a joy.
“To see our two sons playing in the best rugby league competition in the world is a big gain.”
The Alberts left for Sydney via Brisbane on Saturday.
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Downer Rugby League 9s World Cup
- PNG Kumuls 0 Australia 26
- PNG Kumuls 18 New Zealand Kiwis 18
- PNG Kumuls 23 USA Tomahawks 10
Pacific Test Results
201 9 - PNG Kumuls 28 Great Britain Lions 10
2019 - Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 20
2019 - PNG Kumls 6 Samoa 24
2018 - PNG Kumuls 26 Fiji Bati 14
2017 - PNG Kumuls 32 Cook Islands 22
2016 - PNG Kumuls 24 Fiji Bati 22
2015- Fiji Bati 22 PNG Kumuls 22
World Cup Results
Round 1 : PNG Kumuls 50 Wales 6
Round 2: PNG Kumuls 14 Ireland 6
Round 3 PNG Kumuls 64 USA 0
Quarter Finals : PNG Kumuls 6 England 36