Patiently waiting for his time, Matt Moylan is ready for season 2016 to be the long-awaited breakthrough into the Origin arena. And, the added honour as the Penrith Panther’s new captain is symbolic of his elevation to become one of the game’s biggest superstars.
Elevating through the VB NSW Cup ranks as a Panthers junior, the 24-year-old is set to thrive on the extra responsibilities by becoming more vocal on the field, and ultimately aims to add to his two representative games for City Origin.
“I’ve been in an Origin camp as 18th man, it was a good experience and I got a taste of what camp is like, so I think that’s made me hungrier to get back there and get in the team,” Moylan said.
“I think [the captaincy] will help my footy go to another level, the responsibility will help me develop as a player and hopefully bring out the best in me on the field.”
The young star has already achieved plenty in his short career including two appearances for City Origin, an NRL All Stars cap, and representing the Prime Ministers XIII in Papua New Guinea in 2014.
In the same year he was named Panthers Rookie of the Year, Moylan played a vital role in driving the Windsor Wolves to the 2013 VB NSW Cup Grand Final.
While the Wolves lost the match, a mix of rising superstars and seasoned veterans including Geoff Daniela, Blake Austin, Nathan Gardner, Kirisome Auva’a, Chad Townsend and Tyrone Peachey took the field that day.
Those types of matches are what prepared Moylan to have such a sudden impact in the NRL.
“[VB NSW Cup] helped me to mature and play against a lot of players that have played first grade,” Moylan said.
“They’re a bit older, so playing with and against guys like that [has] brought out more leadership and more of a dominant voice in me out on the field. I was a bit quiet [when I was younger] so I put my head down, worked hard and became more vocal over the last few years along with more games and experience.”
Captaincy may have come earlier than expected for the Penrith junior, but he believes it won’t affect the way he plays.
“It’s a huge honor and privilege to be named captain of such a good club,” Moylan said.
“Being a local junior and playing my local footy out here has probably made it a bit more special. There’s extra responsibility but I think I won’t have to change too much, we’re still going to have our same structures and we’ve still got senior players out there that are leading the side around.
“I might have to be a bit more vocal in some situations, but in saying that I want to still just concentrate on doing my role for the team and trying to play some good footy.”
Moylan has been touted as a future Origin player, and the captaincy could be the stepping-stone that takes him to that level.