Kobe goes international
Saturday, 9th November, 2013
By By Ethan James
Kobe was voted best player for NSW at the tournament and will now tour South Africa from January 13-27 as part of a squad of 25.
“I’m pretty nervous but also very thrilled to be going over there,” he said.
“We play three games and do a heap of clinics and things like that to promote the game.”
Kobe, now living in Golgol, east of Mildura, first played for North in Broken Hill in the under six competition.
“That was in 2004... and honestly, footy is still my favourite thing to do,” he said.
He hit a hurdle at the age of just 12 but one that ultimately only served to strengthen his determination.
“The thought of getting really serious kicked in after I broke my leg,” he said.
“I thought then that I wanted to get serious about this and make a name for myself.”
An avid Geelong Cats supporter, Kobe hopes to model his game on midfielder Joel Selwood.
“Just because of the way he tackles, attacks the ball and never loses the contest... I need to work on that a bit for my own game.”
Kobe’s father Terry made the trip north to support his son at the championships and said it was a gruelling experience.
“It was about 32 degrees with plenty of heat,” he said.
“The kids were only on for about three or four minutes and then they were off again.
“But Kobe’s pretty fit and it was hard for everyone. They all had to adapt and play in the same conditions anyway.”
Terry introduced Kobe to the sport as a youngster and almost described it as witnessing love at first sight.
“He was only about four-and-a-half back then but he loved it and just started running around in the backyard. He still has a kick around every now and then,” he said.
Kobe will be playing on a slightly larger patch of grass against the Under 23 South African national squad next year.
He will also get the chance to visit Nelson Mandela’s palace as well as a number of other landmarks.
“It’s not just about the footy but all the sights and sounds as well. It’ll be a great experience for him to go through,” Terry said.
“It’ll definitely open his eyes a bit.”
Kobe has already trained with the Greater Western Sydney Academy and hopes to cement a place in their squad next year.
He is also planning to play senior footy for Wentworth in 2014.