WHILE playing Rugby League for the Shawcross Sharks in England, Jordan Anderson always thought visiting Australia would be like a dream.
And after debating the idea of playing Rugby League in Australia for some time, the death of his father in late 2015 sparked Jordan to pack his bags and fly halfway across the world where two years later he is a standout for the Tumut Blues in one of their best seasons in recent years.
“I had always wanted to visit Australia, it’s been like a dream of mine,” Anderson said.
“Then in November 2015 my father passed away and I just thought life’s too short and I packed my stuff and came over.”
Moving from a big city, it took a while for the quietly spoken halfback to get use to the calm and quiet of the Snowy Valley.
But after living in Australia for the best part of two years Jordan feels right at home at Tumut and even has started to develop an Aussie accent according to his friends and family in England.
Touching down in Australia early in 2016, Jordan got his first experience of Australian rugby league playing for the Tumbarumba Greens where he quickly adapted to the different styles of play.
“It’s a lot faster (than England),” Anderson explained.
“You get a lot of big kiwis running at you that hurt when you tackle them.”
But Anderson knows all about the dangers of Rugby League after fracturing two bones in his neck while playing in England in 2015.
Despite the injury Anderson played the full 80 minutes before later learning from doctors that even a sneeze could of left him
But more concerned with how long he would be on the sidelines, Jordan’s passion for the game is uncontested saying as long as he’s healthy he wants to be playing.
“Nothing would stop me, I can’t see myself ever not playing,” said Anderson.
“As long as I can run, pass and kick a ball I’m going to play to be honest.”
And it’s this passion that has helped Jordan become a pivotal part of the Blues 2018 campaign as they look to end a seven-year premiership drought.
Anderson has been at the top of his game as halfback of the Blues side with his experience and dedication rubbing off on the younger players around him.
He also played a big role in Tumut’s win over Cootamundra last weekend, looking dangerous with the ball in hand and closing the game out confidently when the match got tight towards the end.
And while the combinations within the team grow stronger each week, Anderson says it’s the toughness of the team that has really impressed him.
“We’re still working on combinations, it’s a very young side but it’s coming together,” said the Englishman.
“We’re doing well, we’ve not really got massive numbers in depth but the players that we do have are really talented and good tough players.”
Also a handy fullback, Anderson adds a lot of strike power to the Blues attack being quick off the mark and with good ball playing skills he has slotted into the team structure well.
But helping him adjust to the new team was the welcoming and supportive nature of the club and its fans that helped him settle in quickly
“All the players are very welcoming and the spectators and the fans are very welcoming as well.”
“After the first couple of training sessions it was really good because they all came up to me and spoke to me and never left me out of anything.”
Nursing a niggling hand injury, Anderson will make the most of the bye this weekend to rest up as he prepares to take on the Young Cherry Pickers in his next outing for his home away from home.