One of the bigger strengths in the Cronulla Sharks team is their experienced forward pack boasting names including Gallen, Fifita, Woods, Prior and Graham. Among them is Jayden Brailey, representing the new generation of Sharks.
He’s 22-years-old and now has two full seasons under his belt. After being overlooked for the NSW Under-20s team in 2016, he’s now in Brad Fittler’s Emerging Blues squad for State of Origin.
Brailey came through the Sharks’ junior system and is now their regular hooker. He has impressed in the two seasons in the top grade, taking the biggest share of the defensive load for his team despite sharing the hooker role with James Segeyaro.
Ironically, the biggest threat for his jersey within the Sharks is currently his brother Blayke. Segeyaro is no longer with the club, and Blayke Brailey is a genuine chance of taking his bench spot to start the season.
Should Jayden start the year with the No.9 jersey and Blayke debut, it will be a proud moment for the family to see the brothers playing first grade together. The competition for that starting role will no doubt bring the best out of Jayden in years to come.
Being picked in Fittler’s Emerging Blues squad is recognition for the work Brailey has put in and his performances over the past two seasons. Higher honours could be in order for the young player should he continue his rise.