Hayden Rowbotham will enter the 2024 season as the Brisbane Rugby League’s A’Grade Player of the Year, a recognition of his remarkable talent and unwavering commitment to establishing himself as a Norths Devils player.
Originally hailing from Townsville, Hayden made the move to Brisbane to begin his journey at the Devils within our U21 Colts pathways system, where he showcased his potential. With the turn of the 2022 season, Hayden eventually aged out of this category, leading to a transition with our affiliate system to establish himself.
In the 2023 season, Hayden wore the Valleys Diehards jersey for the majority of the year with one goal in mind.
“My primary objective was to participate in as many Hostplus Cup games as possible during the year (2023), and I’m grateful to have achieved it with this club.”
Hayden’s debut for the Devils in round 9 of the 2023 season against the now reigning premiers, the Brisbane Tigers, was more fuel to fire his passion.
“Yeah, it left me wanting more, and that’s probably what led to this award. I just wanted to put my best foot forward and show what I could do.”
Hayden’s narrative is a testament to his dedication and an unyielding pursuit of excellence. He has wholeheartedly embraced the opportunities presented by our affiliate system.
Reflecting on his year with the Valleys, Hayden speaks warmly of the experience.
“It was really good to see what Valleys was about; it was my first time playing in a Brisbane A’Grade competition. The coaches were good, and they were all really welcoming, so I had a fun year.”
Having these strong relationships with our Brisbane A’Grade affiliates allows our players to grow while still maintaining a foothold in the squad.
With the upcoming preseason on the horizon, the promising halfback is focused on cementing his place in the starting lineup.
“My goal for next year is the same. I want to play the entire season or a consecutive string of cup games.”
The 2023 season marked Hayden’s transition to open-age group competition, a notable shift from his Colts days. Armed with a year’s worth of invaluable experience, he is poised to take the next significant step forward.
“It’s a bit different from the Colts. Because you are playing against a mix of guys who may be the same age and size, but then you are also up against men.”
Hayden’s loyalty to the Norths Devils has remained unshaken, having called this club home for a number of years. He eagerly awaits the challenges and opportunities that the next season will bring, yearning to leave a lasting impact within the squad.
“I obviously love this club; I’ve been here for a few years, so I’m definitely excited for next year.”
The club celebrates Hayden’s accomplishments with an eye toward his future, and we hope his journey serves as a testament to our long term commitment to nurturing talent and providing opportunities for players to excel.