Having a junior rugby league shield and a school holiday coaching clinic named after you at the age of 20 is a surreal feeling even for Wests Tigers half Curtis Sironen.


A proud Balmain junior, Sironen attended the Aaron Woods and Curtis Sironen International Coaching Clinic at Leichhardt Oval on Monday. Woods was unable to attend after being selected in the NSW team.


Sironen spoke to aspiring 12 to 13-year-old players from the Balmain junior rugby league about his days playing for North Ryde Hawks and Dundas Shamrocks before rising through the Balmain development, Harold Matthews and SG Ball teams.


It was only a couple of years ago I was here at these school holiday clinics just like you boys, Sironen addressed the group.


This is where it all starts. You come to clinics like this and you learn some new skills and take it back to your weekend footy.


I was exactly the same age when I watched Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah win the grand final and now I get to play with them. I used to learn from them at these clinics.


You just never know what may happen in a few years. Players aged 18 and 19 are now playing first grade these days. If you put your heart into it and work hard, anyone can get there.


Before playing a friendly game of touch footy with the boys, Sironen answered some of these questions from the group.


Have you always played the same position?

'I played lock forward when I was younger. I had some pretty good skills so I moved to five-eighth and now Im playing alongside Benji, I have moved to half. I wont be there for long as I will be in the forwards soon due to my size.


Did you ever think you would play first grade?

'It is every players dream to play first grade. You dont think it is going to happen until you start training with the top players and you think you are in with half a shot. It was what I wanted to achieve in my career. If you train hard enough, you can make it happen'.


What is a normal day of training for you?

'We get to training about 8.30am and you do your physio, stretching and warm ups. I practice my kicking with the rest of the halves for about 30 minutes while the forwards do their wrestling and tackling. We then do fitness and ball work. We finish at lunch time and have an hours break before doing weights in the afternoon. Some days we get a massage. The day before a game we have a ball work session and have lunch and go home and drink plenty of water'.


What is your game day routine?

'I have a big breakfast and drink plenty of water throughout the day. If we play at night, it is a long wait so I like to relax. I play Xbox. I get there nice and early to watch the U20s and start then to get strapped and ready to play. It is a great feeling to run out for the Wests Tigers.'