Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs coach Brad Henderson has given a glowing appraisal of young halfback Brandon Wakeham saying his abundance of self-confidence will put him in perfect stead to enjoy a successful NRL career.
Wakeham has enjoyed a strong start to life as a professional footballer since his NRL debut in Round 15 last year and is a graduate from the Bulldog’s UNE Harold Matthews, UNE SG Ball, and Youth High Performance teams.
He has also been a core part of the NSWRL’s Pathways system in recent years and Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler earmarked the 21-year-old as one to watch in the future.
Never been one to take a backward step against his opponents, Wakeham has the makings of a future superstar in Rugby League, according to his Canterbury Cup NSW Coach.
“It’s all attitude with Brandon, and with all due respect and in the nicest possible way – he just has so much attitude and so much confidence,” Henderson told The Short Side Podcast.
“He’s in the moment of every moment of the game, and he tries as hard as he can.
“Whether it be trying to get under the skin of the opposition…but he’s quite a composed kid.
"In those tough moments, when the game is on the line, he wants the footy and that’s a good sign."
Although just playing three NRL games in 2019, Wakeham earned representative honours with Fiji at the end of the season and his impressive form in their three consecutive victories saw him named on the shortlist for the coveted Golden Boot Award.
Henderson says the experience within the representative arena has given the young star more confidence in his own playing ability and he will be primed to build on his five NRL appearances when the competition returns on 28 May.
“You can see him grow a leg when playing for Fiji (after) surrounding himself with all those quality footballers and getting that exposure," he said.
“It’s added to, in the last couple of years, some good games in Canterbury Cup NSW, and an NRL debut.
“It’s all part of his development and I think with Brandon if we can stay patient with him, the best is yet to come.
“I’m really excited for him too because he’s just a quality kid and he’s a player that all the boys really want to play with, that’s for sure.”