By Daniel McKenzie
Morningside young gun Bill Pendlebury has won the QAFL NAB Rising Star award for round 1.
Debuting on the weekend, Pendlebury looked every bit the star in the making with his run and attack on the contest.
The achievement is even more remarkable considering the 2013 U18 player was considering giving the game away only a few months ago.
Morningside Coach David Lake said Pendlebury was undecided about his football and future but the club were able to assist.
“He wasn’t sure of his direction in life and he was actually going to quit football at the end of last year and return to Rugby as he missed the culture of a footy club,” Lake said.
“We were able to help him, he’s now with an electrician where he wants to be and after a talk about his prospects he committed to senior footy. He’s won the respect of the older guys and has not missed a beat.”
It’s not just Pendlebury’s skill that is seeing him excel and Lake said that with his attitude and work ethic, success comes as no surprise.
“He works hard and he does all the work and asks no quarter. Some people pick and choose what they do but he asks for nothing,” he said.
“He picks the hard one’s and works with them. That’s in running, tackling or whatever, he’s tough.”
Lake said that while there were no individual instructions for Pendlebury on the weekend, he was part of the midfield because of his willingness to put his head over the ball.
“He comes out of the bottom of every contest and always has his head over the footy,” he said.
“Every game he seems to have something taped up around his head.”
Pendlebury is renowned for this hardness and Lake said it’s this attitude and willingness that his teammates love.
“He was part of that midfield rotation with Paul Shelton, so he was in there with the master himself,” he said.
“The master doesn’t want to play with everybody, but he loves Bill Pendlebury.”
At only 18, and just making his QAFL debut, Pendlebury has a lot of football ahead of him and Lake said the club is excited about his long term prospects and potential.
“This year is a good consolidation year for him but ongoing I think he could be a NEAFL franchise player or more,” he said.
“As long as it fits into what he wants in life and he’s willing to listen and learn, the world is his oyster, he’s a ripper.”