The Mariner family are well accustomed to taking centre stage at Mount Smart Stadium.
A month ago Lapi Mariner wowed the venue with his vocal talents – delivering a rendition of his 2001 hit song It’s just a matter of faith, which was brought back by the Warriors to celebrate their 25th year – and this Saturday son Deine gets his turn when he suits up for the Auckland Vulcans U16s.
Fifteen-year-old Deine Mariner – a talented footy played who has been signed to be part of the Brisbane Broncos’ junior academy – will run out at the stadium after earning selection in the Vulcans’ side to face the Future Warriors.
Ahead of the match, Deine was quick to pay tribute to his dad and the role he has played in his footy journey so far.
“My dad is honestly the man, he has always supported me through my rugby league,” Deine said.
“He takes me to trainings, watches my games and gives me the best advice before I get on the field.
“The greatest advice dad has given me is ‘what you put in is what you get out’, and that’s stuck with me ever since.”
Having played a mini/mod game at the stadium as a child, Deine said he was looking forward to the real experience of playing on the main field as the curtain-raiser to the Warriors v North Queensland Cowboys NRL match later that evening.
It will be the first time Deine has represented the Vulcans, and he will be joined by a couple of his Marist club teammates, including reigning national U15 MVP Stanley Iongi.
“It’s a privilege to be selected for the Auckland Vulcans, especially having the chance to play on this field,” Deine said.
“When I was younger I was part of a mini/mod game at Mount Smart, but to play the full field is something I’ve never done before.
“This game is really good for us. It gives us the opportunity to play in front of a good crowd and I also see this fixture as a stepping stone towards any of our big goals we’ve set as players.
“My biggest goal is just to make my family proud by doing what I love.”
Auckland Vulcans U16 v Future Warriors U16
Saturday April 20, 5.30pm kick-off
Mt Smart Stadium