This week we chat to Northcote Tigers premier player Morgan Timoti-Cook.
Northcote are undefeated at the time of writing this and sit clear at the top of the ladder. Has the start to 2019 exceeded your expectations?
You could say that, especially with losing Trent [Schaumkel] and Taylor [Daniels] who are very good players and senior players as well. But it’s been about not settling, we have exceeded our expectations to start the season and now we are striving to be at the top competing with the best teams.
Is the memory of the last-minute semi loss to Howick last year a driving factor this time around?
That loss in the semi was a killer for sure. I would say it is a driving factor for us this year. Last year a few of the boys knew that Taylor was going to leave, that was always coming, so it was hard to take.
Northcote been improving every year for the last three seasons. What has coach Geoff Morton brought to the club through that period?
He’s brought life to the club. The culture has changed, we are really buying into what he wants from the team and it shows because every year we have been improving. We love playing under Geoff, he’s done a great job for us.
When did the footy journey start for you?
I’m a lifelong player, I started when I was three and was playing with Taylor Daniels. I don’t even think we were allowed to play when we were three, but our mums didn’t want us on the sideline so they put us in the team! Rugby league has stuck with me ever since.
You’ve been at the club basically your whole life, so what would it mean if you were able to enjoy success in the Fox?
I am a Northcote boy through and through, so that would be huge for me. I am one of the old boys in the team, and I definitely feel like it, but to win it would be huge for our club.
You came through the grades at the same time as Sam Cook and David Bhana – two of the most recent Tigers players to go on and make the NRL – so what’s it been like watching them achieve their footy dream?
We grew up playing together in the same team up until we were 18 or so. It was huge to see Sam him make the NRL. We all went to one of our sponsors, The Good Home, and watched his debut and then we all went to watch his first home game as well for the Warriors. David as well, we grew up with him, so watching them debut and play at that level was a dream.