Young talent helps Raiders to victory
Footy runs in the blood of the Prest family and that is no exception for Hennessy College student Mitchell Prest.
The Year-12 student’s most recent achievement is winning the 2021 grand final with the Canberra Raiders SG Ball (U19s) team at Leichhardt Oval in April.
“I was quite nervous going up on the bus but when we got there we put our heads down and got ready for a big game,” Mitchell said.
Although Mitchell has travelled to England playing representative football for NSW Country, he says nothing beats the feeling of winning the grand final with the Raiders SG Ball team.
“Pre-season training and travelling to Canberra three days a week was hard, and it was such a good feeling to win knowing that all the hard work paid off,” he said.
Mitchell has gone back to play in the U18s team of his local club the Young Cherrypickers where he has been playing since he was 10 years old.
His dad, brother of Manly player Steve Prest and South Sydney player Michael Prest, loves rugby league and has always taken him to training and games no matter how far away they are.
Mitchell was trialling for Riverina in 2019 when he was spotted by a Raiders coach Ash Barnes who invited him to try out for the Raiders U16 team.
He made it into the U16s squad which he says was an amazing experience.
Running out for the Raiders even at the age of 16 is a dream for anyone trying to make it in rugby league. This year with the U19s team, Mitchell travelled three times a week to Canberra for footy training which meant he had to leave school at recess or lunch to get there on time.
“Sometimes I drove to Canberra but usually my parents took me, or I carpooled with two of my mates from Young who were in the U17 team,” he said.
His commute would see him return to Young around 10pm before getting ready to go to school the next day. He still travels to Canberra once a fortnight to train with the Raiders U20s and NSW Cup teams.
“The aim is to play in the NRL, and I think I will move to Canberra next year to pursue it as a career,” Mitchell said.
He is very grateful to his parents who have been there for him through it all.
“I wouldn’t have been able to get where I am without them,” he said.