TAMWORTH’S Mick Snowden was back in his home town for Christmas but what he is really wishing for is a good 2013 at his new club, the Western Force.
The 25-year-old former Farrer student and Pirates player has been playing in Sydney with Eastwood but signed with the Super Rugby franchise earlier this year and has been training in Perth since October.
“It’s pretty intense,” Snowden said.
“They like to make you work.
“We start training again on the 2nd of January.
“Our first trial game is on February 1st so we’re straight into preparation for games.”
Snowden is part of the Force’s Extended Playing Squad (EPS), which means he is outside their top 30 but can be called up if injuries hit.
The halfback role will be filled by Brett Sheahan or Albie Mathewson but Snowden will be ready if needed.
Sheahan is on the injured list already and that might allow Snowden to play in some early-season games.
“It’s hard to say at this stage,” Snowden said.
“With Brett’s injury I might get some game time if he is still injured.
“But you don’t normally find out if you’re in the team until the Tuesday before the game.
“But his injury has opened the door.”
When he is not in the 22-man squad for games, Snowden will either play with the Force’s academy team or he will fly back to Sydney to play for Eastwood.
After playing for the Country U19s and U20s in 2004 and 2005 and spending a year in the senior grades for Pirates in 2006, Snowden made the move to Sydney to play with Eastwood’s Colts team.
He has walked a long road since then to get to where he is now.
“I thought moving to Sydney was a big step,” he said.
“This is even bigger.
“When you get to Sydney there’s a lot of private school people and you’re on the outside of the social circle and you don’t know anyone.
“They look at you if you’ve played junior reps like Australian schoolboys but otherwise it’s pretty hard.”
He only has one year to impress at the Force and hopes he can stay beyond 2013.
Professional football can be unforgiving and the window of opportunity is small.
“It’s a one-year contract at this stage,” he said.
“Hopefully I can get it extended.
“It’s pretty cut-throat.”
But at the moment he is living a dream.
As a junior in Tamworth, Snowden always aspired to play professionally.
“Ever since I was born, since the first time my dad threw a ball at me,” he said.
“When you wake up and you’re playing football for a job, you can’t complain.”
Unfortunately the Christmas break was all too short, but at least it meant the born and bred Tamworthian was able to catch up with friends and family for a few days before heading back to Perth.
And even while on his break there was no rest for Snowden.
He was still running and training every day to ensure he heads back to the Force in peak fitness.