OVER the past two seasons Orange City centre Mesui Lemoto has consistently been one of the best players in the Blowes Clothing Cup, but he has never pulled on a Central West jersey.
Lemoto will finally line up for the Blue Bulls at the 2014 NSW Country Championships in Mudgee in a fortnight, despite being overseas for the better part of the trial process.
Blue Bulls head coach Matt McRobert said Lemoto’s undeniable class in the number 12 jersey, and his surprising availability made him impossible to ignore. In previous seasons Lemoto has returned to Tonga during the off-season, and not arrived back on Australian shores until after Central West’s selections.
“We sat down at the beginning of trials, and said we need to make sure we select the best players possible in each position, and, being available, Mesui was a part of those plans,” he said.
“He only played his first trial with us on Saturday against Penrith, but he deserves a place in this side from that performance alone.”
McRobert lauded Lemoto’s all-round ability, describing him as “all class”.
“Anyone who has watched Mesui in the Blowes [Clothing] Cup knows what he brings to Orange City,” he said.
“He’s got a very good kicking game, a great running game and great passing game. He’s always very calm, and didn’t put a foot wrong in the trial on Saturday. He’s a great guy to have around the group too, all the Islander boys are, their love of the game is just infectious.
“This whole squad has a good chance of getting a [NSW Country] Cockatoos jersey if they play well, and Mesui is included in that. The selectors have watched all our trials and from the mail we’ve got, our guys are doing the right things.”
Taking into account the Blue Bulls’ tier two Richardson Shield title last year, and their promotion to the top tier Caldwell Cup competition this year, Lemoto praised the players around him before saying he just wants to have a positive impact on the team.
“It’s good to be a part of,” Lemoto said.
“They were a good team last year, and there are plenty of good players again this year. I’m just hoping to help the team by playing well. Hopefully I can help take the team to the next level.”