Rover roars with the Sharks in Sydney competition

Photos contributed by the Cuddihys.


Rory Cuddihy is making the most of the opportunity that’s been presented to him.

The year 6 student has made the move to the big smoke to improve his game and further his burgeoning football career.

Rory has been playing for the Cronulla Sharks Junior Australian Football Club in the under 12s Sydney Harbour first division competition this year.

He’s also switched schools, from Calrossy to Cronulla Public, and is living in the Sutherland Shire with his dad Mark while the rest of the family are still based in Tamworth.

Rory, who also plays for the Tamworth Roosters, has thrived in the Sydney competition.

“Two weeks ago he got man of the match and he got another [man of the match award] this week just gone,” Mark said of Rory.

“There’s a couple Swans Academy kids in his team so it’s been good to see how he shapes up against them. He’ll be going to the Swans Academy trials at the end of September as well.”

Rory’s AFL journey started under the watchful eye of Brendan George at Tamworth Auskick before Rory was coached by Greg Vallender at the Roosters.

Mark said both men have had a big impact on Rory’s development as a footballer and helped him progress to where he is now – in Sydney and hopefully on the verge of making the Swans Academy.

It is a major goal and working toward that isn’t the only thing that has kept the young midfielder busy.

Along with training and playing with the Sharks, Rory often has his head in a book and also does extra sessions on his days off.

“He does stuff he’s got through NIAS for training and Alan Martin and Gerry Taveira in Inverell, they’ve been good to him as well,” Mark said.

“He’s got a sprint program that we do every second day.”

Rory has been putting in the hard work following the move which all came about thanks to a holiday to the Sutherland Shire.

“I’m from Cronulla. We were down here on holidays and we went along to training and after they said ‘we’d love to have him’,” Mark said.

Rory has been very thankful for the opportunity and support given by president/coach Justin Meehan and the Sharks team.