BEN Whiddon is a firm believer in putting your best foot forward. The Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles halfback needs to be as he presses his claim for a permanent jersey.
Sea Eagles coach Brandon Costin and players Ben Whiddon (back) and Simon Allen have welcomed the announcement of Hi-Way 1 as a club jersey sponsor.
Having controlled Sunshine Coast in its 22-18 trial win over Easts last weekend, Whiddon will get another shot at No.7 in Saturday’s trial against Ipswich.
While coach Brandon Costin rated Whiddon’s performance against Easts as “outstanding”, the Kawana junior, 22, believes he has more work to do.
“Everything was pretty good out there, structure-wise and in attack, but I’ve just got to work a little bit on defence,” Whiddon said yesterday.
“I’ve had a really big off-season and pre-season, training pretty hard, doing a lot of fitness and strength work.
“Hopefully, I can play a little bit (of Queensland Cup) this year.”
Whiddon is locked in a three-way tussle for the halfback role with incumbent Trent Hodkinson and Manly youngster Daly Cherry-Evans – although the latter could be picked in Manly’s NRL side and will be playing five-eighth this weekend.
Whiddon hopes to nail down the halfback role but admits he would play in other positions just to be part of the defending premier side.
“Seven is where I’d prefer to play but if I have to play anywhere else in the team, I will, to play in Queensland Cup,” he said.
“We’ll see, with Hodko and Cherry coming up it makes it a little difficult.
“If one of them stays down in Sydney, then I’ll sort of push for Costo to play with two halves, but that’s up to him.”
Costin said Whiddon slotted into the role seamlessly.
“His organisation of the side (impressed me), he ran the show, he looked after it,” he said.
“He stepped up, he was in control, he was calm, he didn’t panic. We never looked under pressure and that’s the type of side we are when we’ve got the ball, and he was able to implement that.”
Fullback Dennis Sandow will fill the captaincy role vacated by Cameron Joyce. “Dennis is a natural leader on the field,” Costin said.
“If you watch the game and you listen to the talk from the back, you can understand the influence he has on the side.
“He was just a natural selection.”
Yesterday the Sea Eagles announced transport and agriculture group Hi-Way 1 as a major jersey sponsor for this season.