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Hills Bulls Junior Ace Sanders Makes Eels Debut

Parramatta Eels are not having the best of seasons but for former Hills Bulls junior, Ethan Sanders making his debut for the club is a dream come true.

One of the country’s most promising halfbacks, Sanders, 19, made his NRL debut for Parramatta last Friday though it was a night to forget as Manly Eagles won 32-18.

Sanders, who played for the Hills Bulls in the Under 7’s in 2011, always wanted to play for the Eels. “It means a lot to me; it’s been my dream for as long as I can remember,” Sanders said in a pre-season interview with SMH. However, last week, Sanders confirmed he will be playing next year for Canberra Raiders who have been chasing his signature for months.

The Hills Bulls are immensely proud of Sanders, saying their end of the book report for 2012 mentioned that: ‘I think we have a footballer to look out for in the future’. “Well, the future is here and everyone at the Bulls is super proud of you,” the Hills Bulls posted on their Facebook page.

Remote0 Hills Bulls Junior Ace Sanders Makes Eels Debut

Sanders is officially Eel number 845. His form for the Eels junior teams is very impressive, leading them to the SG Ball Cup title, and being named Player of the Match in the final.

The former Patrician Brothers (Blacktown) player starred for the NSW Under-19 side and also led the Eels to their first finals in the Jersey Flegg tournament since 2018, scoring 80 points with 31 tackle busts.

Sanders continued his phenomenal form for the NSW Under-19 team, helping them to retain the title.

Growing up in Quakers Hill, Eels star half-back Mitchell Moses was one of his role models, with Sanders saying it’s amazing that he is now playing alongside his hero. Ironically, Moses’ injury has opened up the opportunity for Sanders to play for the Eels.

“Mitchie’s been unreal,” he added. “I sort of try and double up with Mitchie and ask him as much as I can and try and learn from him, especially his kicking game … and whatever else. It’s been unreal.

“My dad supports Parramatta, and he sort of put a Parra jersey on me since I can remember. It means the world to me.”

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur said he is pleased that Sanders has committed to stay with the club until the end of the 2024 season.

“He’s come and fronted up and let us know that he’d be moving on,” Arthur told the AAP.

“But he’s told me to my face, and his manager has, that he’s not asking for a release this year.

“It’s good. He made an obligation to the team at the start of the year, and that’s a sign of the man he is.”

Lawrence Machodo

Highly experienced and award-winning journalist with a demonstrated history of working in the newspaper and media industry both in Australia and overseas.  Lawrence Machodo is our Sports Writer.

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