BIG PATHWAY: Delaney Claridge has been selected to attend the U15 Emerging Origin Camp in January on the Gold Coast.
BIG PATHWAY: Delaney Claridge has been selected to attend the U15 Emerging Origin Camp in January on the Gold Coast. Matt Taylor GLA041117LEAG

Youngster identified to make development squad

RUGBY LEAGUE: There may be the next Chelsea Baker in the making.

And her name is Calliope Roosters junior product Delaney Claridge because she has been selected in the under-15 girl's Emerging Origin Development Program.

She is the only one from the Gladstone region to be selected among 17 girls who will attend a Emerging Origin Camp on the Gold Coast in January.

It was the last thing on her mind when she found out.

"I was very surprised and I was not even thinking of rugby league as the season was over and it is an honour," 13-year-old Delaney said.

Delaney, whose preferred playing position is as a second rower, talked about her previous representative duties, which she suspects has put her in good stead.

"I was lucky enough to make the Central Crows under-14 girl's team which played in the state carnival at the Sunshine Coast earlier this year," Delaney said.

"I think the selectors might of been at that carnival."

The North Queensland and Jason Taumalolo fan said her dad Stuart and brother Connor have been the driving forces in her progress.

"Delaney has always looked up to her older brother and there is a level of competitiveness," Stuart said.

"When Connor has done well, Delaney pushes herself to do well and at the moment I think she has her nose in front."

"Naturally as parents Fiona and myself are very proud of Delaney's achievements. Delaney loves the sport and now she is 13, there isn't a lot of footy on offer around this region and this selection is totally unexpected but the timing couldn't be better."

Stuart, who played league himself, admitted he does not offer much advice other than to give 100 per cent and he said it's enjoyable to support his daughter.

"The sacrifices aren't that great really and like a lot of other parents, we enjoy the different carnivals, catching up with friends etcetera. At times there is a lot of travel but that is part of the journey," he said.

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