Bid for NSW Country
By MITCHELL DALE
THERE is only one item left to be crossed off on freakish Macksville fullback David Pickvance's list of things to achieve in rugby league.
The 24-year-old desperately wants a NSW Country jersey and is hoping 2005 will be the year he achieves that goal.
Pickvance has already done everything possible at Group level, having claimed three first grade premierships and was crowned the leading player in Group 2 for 2003.
Along the way he has established himself as an attack genius without peer.
"Making Country is something I want to do for sure," Pickvance says.
"I've probably only got another couple of years before my body gives out.
"I have achieved everything else I wanted to... making Country is a big goal this year."
Pickvance took the first steps towards a Country jersey on Sunday night when he was (not surprisingly) named at fullback in the Group 2 representative side.
However, a torn hamstring, which kept Pickvance out of Macksville's match against Sawtell yesterday, has the star custodian in doubt for Saturday's annual Group 2 v Group 3 representative match at Macksville.
"It should be alright (for Saturday), I have been icing it and getting it rubbed every night," he says. "But it is still a bit sore.
"I'm desperate to play (on Saturday), because I don't think you can get picked for North Coast if you miss this match."
Pickvance, who had a stint with Penrith Panthers in 1999 and 2000, says he hasn't given up hope of a return to the big league.
But the born-and-bred Macksville boy says the big smoke is not for him.
"It would depend on the team," he says.
"I'm not really a city person, I didn't really like it when I was living there.
"I have lived in Newcastle before and didn't mind that, or I would even move up north, but I have to get the right connections."
That is where a NSW Country jersey could come in handy.
But before he starts to entertain ideas of a NSW Country birth, Pickvance knows he needs to produce the form for Group 2 and North Coast that has dazzled fans along the Mid North Coast during the last few winters.
"Because (the Country Divisional Championships) are knock-out games, you really need to try and win at least three or four games," he says.
"The more games you play, the better your chance of being selected.
"It just depends on how well we come together as a team."
Senior squad: David Pickvance (Macksville), Ryan Walker (Orara Valley), Joel Asher (Port Macquarie), Nathan Davies (Sawtell), Ben Sprague (Port Macquarie), Ben McCarthy (Orara Valley), Neville Donovan (Macks-ville), Matt Blake (Port Macquarie), Bert Gray (Coffs Harbour), Lee Harvey (Woolgoolga), Dale Carr (Port Macquarie), Chris Piper (Macksville), Tristan Hamilton-Giggins (Orara Valley), Reg Donovan (Macksville), Matt Shipway (Port Macquarie), Will Baker (Nambucca Heads), Cameron Blair (Macksville).
Under 18 squad: D Woods (Coffs Harbour), R Morris (Gimbisi), K Williams (Coffs Harbour), D Gordon (Sawtell), F Gillin (Macksville), J Luhede (Nambucca Heads), G Nichols (Nambucca Heads), A Tulman (Macleay Valley), J Young (Bellingen), B Ragnarrsson (Coffs Harbour), N Mann (Port Macquarie), B Pilgrim (Nambucca Heads), S Fensom (Bellingen), M Edwards (Nambucca Heads), B Seymour (Woolgoolga), L Dixon (Macksville), J Gilchrist (Sawtell).