Beau Cordtz lit up the Auckland college competition a couple of years ago, helping St Paul’s College to the 2015 title and gaining plenty of admirers along the way for his composed playmaking. Now about to enter his second season with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, Cordtz took some time to talk with kiwileaguecentral.com.
KLC: To start off Beau, tell us a bit about how the journey with the South Sydney Rabbitohs is going so far.
BC: It was a big move and a big decision at the end of 2015 after playing for St Paul’s and choosing to head over to Australia by myself without my family.
I have been playing at a level which is sort of similar to Fox Memorial Premiership for most of [last] year in Sydney, it’s club football. There are lots of old fellas, but real fit dudes. It’s not as fast, not as physical but they are really strong and fit dudes.
Was it frustrating that you only got limited opportunities to play U-20s in 2016?
Not frustrating so much as just being a big learning curve for me. Knowing my weaknesses and my strengths and the coaches pulling me up and telling me what I need to do and work on. But I am really proud of where I am today.
When you go from the Auckland college comp straight over to Australia like you did, how big is the difference in quality and style of play?
It’s been a huge jump for me from school level to U-20s, and I reckon fitness is the main thing. But defence as well and the little one percenters, making sure everything is on point and getting everything in the right place where it needs to be at every single time.
And are you in Sydney by yourself, or do you have family that already lived over there?
For the first six months I was living by myself and was sent out to one of the Souths ladies who took really good care of me. But my parents came over recently so I am living with them now and enjoying life.
It was daunting at first, just me and one of the other boys from the club staying there and getting all our meals cooked for us, but having no family there was a big struggle. But it teaches you a lot about yourself and I am just grateful.
While you are in the lower grades do you have to have a job to make ends meet? Or does footy provide enough financially?
I was working for the first four or five months and I just recently started studying sport and fitness, which is going well. It is run through Souths and we go to Redfern Oval every Tuesday and Thursday and get through our papers, and it’s basically just up to us how much we want to get through each day and we just fit it in between training.
You helped St Paul’s to wrestle back the Auckland title a couple of years ago, after a brief period where Kelston had it over you guys, how did you feel watching your old school win the Auckland comp again in 2016?
It was all over social media and all that stuff, so I have been telling the boys congratulations for keeping our school name up there, and just reminding them to keep grinding because the rewards will follow.
I keep up with heaps of those boys still, even some of the boys who play for the Warriors now. It’s always good to play against your boys and have a dig at what you love.
What’s the main goal for this year?
I just have to keep working hard, I am still young so I have got a long way to go. I have one more year signed with the Bunnies, so hopefully that goes well. To get a permanent spot in the U-20s would be a goal.
— ezza@1908 (@theburrow19081) August 13, 2016
How has it been fitting in with a new culture with different personalities and values than you were probably used to in New Zealand league?
At first it was hard because they are a different bunch over in Australia, but you just have to get used to it and get comfortable with the uncomfortable as soon as possible. When you are out there in the open no-one is going to be holding your hand, you have just got to do what you have got to do.
Finally, you have had some good halves at the Rabbitohs while you have been there, Adam Reynolds, Luke Keary and Cody Walker, who have you been learning the most off?
I learn off the [NSW] Cup boys and I also train with the NRL boys once during the week. They teach me heaps, getting to know the little things.
Dane Nielsen, even though I am not the same position as him he just knows what he needs to do and has played at the highest levels of the sport. I am very grateful for that fella.
(Main photo: rabbitohs.com.au).