HE’S the baby-faced assassin leading Orange Hawks into a bold new era.
Matt Boss is just 16 but, as he has proven since debuting in the two blues’ 48-16 crushing of the Cowra Magpies, if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
And Boss is certainly good enough.
Making the move from Orange CYMS to the Bloomfield to finish his Group 10 junior career in the Tigers under 16s last winter, Boss made the progression into the Hawks under 18s squad this season and has been a shining light for the side.
So much so, he caught the eye of new premier league coach James Wynne.
Boss’ deft short passing game and precise kicking has given Hawks the edge in his two appearances in 2012, leading the team along side half Scott Rosser to the big win over Cowra and an upset 38-28 triumph over Bathurst St Pat’s.
“It’s been tough but my teammates have helped me up a lot. It’s a bit of a step up from 18s,” Boss said.
“Size, more so than anything. It’s faster for the first 20 minutes then it starts to slow up a bit, but it’s good.”
He said to get the call up from someone like Wynne, a former international with France, was special.
“I was really privileged. It meant a lot coming from him. He has had a lot of experience at high levels. He has been really good to me and so has the whole team. They’ve really taken me under their wing,” Boss said.
“I feel like I’ve gotten better after each game which is good.
“Jared Brodrick has been really good for me. I’ve sort of been looking up to him. He is my (under 18s) coach as well.”
Boss’ toughest test will be today at Wade Park.
Hawks take on CYMS in the second all-Orange affair of 2012, after the green and golds secured the first game in round one in emphatic fashion 43-6.
After a slow start to the season which netted just one win from seven starts, back-to-back wins has Hawks back and knocking on the door of the top five.
CYMS are going strong in third.
It should be an enthralling match.
“It should be tough but I’m looking forward to it,” Boss said.
“I’m a little bit nervous but once I get out there it should be good.”
Boss will be out there a little earlier than any other first grader today, with the young five-eighth still set on helping his under 18s teammates out as they too enjoy a mini-resurgence, recording a win and a draw in their last two starts.
Boss said the step up had helped improve him as a footballer.
“Taking control of the game, more so, and my kicking. I think I’m getting tougher playing men,” he said.
A trait which will no doubt help in the long run.
Although rapt to be plying his trade in Group 10’s premier league in 2012, the level headed youngster has one eye on climbing the rugby league ladder.
“I’d like to play NRL one day but I’ve got to work a bit harder to get there,” he said.
Kick-off today at Wade Park is at 2.45pm.