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Jayden Sullivan

(@helmesy)
Wests Tigers Development Player Admin
Joined: 2 years ago
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Jayden Sullivan, if he gets his father’s consent, may play his first game for Wests Tigers with a new name.

Known to family and friends as “Bud”, that’s how he wants to be addressed from now on.

“Everyone in my family calls me Bud and then Jayden if I’m in trouble,” he grinned. “Jayden is all right but I always ask the commentators to call me Bud. Personally, I like the name Bud, I want to actually change it to Bud.”

Whatever name you call him, Sullivan is ready to call the shots at the Tigers. At just 22 years of age, and with only 27 NRL appearances, Tigers coach Benji Marshall wants to hand the former Dragons playmaker the keys to the team from his first day of preseason training on Monday.

“Benji just pretty much told me straight up, he just wants me to come and own the team and make my mark,” Sullivan said. “I feel like that’s when I’ll play my best footy, when I have ownership and a bigger responsibility.”

Responsibility is something Sullivan knows a bit about. One of nine siblings, he left school in year eight to work as a scaffolder alongside his father, Jason. The money was good, but those early starts and long hours are a timely reminder of just how good he has it now as a professional footballer.

“I just felt like school wasn’t for me,” he said. “I was a scaffolder, I was waking up at four in the morning going to work, finishing at like three or four in the afternoon and then going to training with SG Ball and Harold Matts.

“I just felt like I didn’t want to work any more, so I was telling Dad I want to take footy seriously. I didn’t want to work 13-, 14-hour days as a 14-,15- or 16-year-old kid. It’s tough, it’s definitely not the life for me.”

The Dragons granted Sullivan a release from his contract to take up a four-year contract with the Tigers. The deal was sealed during a not-so-secret meeting at the club’s Concord base in July, which will likely result in the Western Suburbs Red Devils junior partnering with veteran half Aidan Sezer next season.

The move will shift him away from his family in Port Kembla, but he brings with him a constant reminder of the most influential person in life. Tattooed on his leg is a portrait of his father, whom he has played alongside during Koori knockout tournaments.

“I actually lied to my dad about that tattoo,” Sullivan said. “I said I was at the beach, when it was pouring down rain. He was like, ‘Where are you?’ He kept calling me all day. And I was telling him, ‘I’ll be home soon’.

“I was lying to him and then I was sitting there getting tattooed, getting absolutely demolished. I ended up coming home and my sister was behind me and she was recording and he was about to yell at me because I was lying to him all day.

“I’ve only seen my dad cry out like a handful of times. It was a pretty special moment.”

Sullivan’s closest friends are Dragons youngsters Tyrell Sloan and Talatau Amone. It’s unclear when Amone will next play after he was last month found guilty of a hammer attack on a roofing contractor.

Jayden Sullivan in action for the Dragons. NRL PHOTOS

The trio were inseparable coming through the grades and vowed not to drink alcohol, a commitment kept until Sullivan drank a pink of Vodka Cruiser on the Mad Monday that fell just a week before his 21st birthday last year.

“I set a goal a couple of days ago that I won’t drink until Mad Monday comes around again,” Sullivan said. “That’s just because I wanna focus on footy and put all my eggs in one basket and go hard.”

At some point next year, he will face his old club and his long-time friends.

“I hope it’s at WIN Stadium,” Sullivan said. “I hope Sloaney tries to run because I’m going to try to tackle him so hard, we were joking about it the other day. Remember the Morris twins [Brett and Josh Morris] when they pretended they were in a fight? We will do that, but I reckon he will actually hit me. It’s all love. Off the field we’re best mates again.”

After consecutive wooden spoons, little is expected of the Tigers in 2024. They will commence their preseason with a rookie coach and a new halves combination at a time when a club review could result in a radical shake-up of the board and management. However, Sullivan isn’t daunted.

“I like a challenge. Not everything in life is easy,” he said. “Coming into this season we’re starting behind the eight-ball, but we’ve got no expectations. The only thing we gotta prove is to ourselves and where we want to take it. That’s the most exciting thing, we’re gonna create our own legacy. We don’t have to live up to anyone else’s.”

https://amp.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/bud-s-wiser-new-club-new-name-for-the-22-year-old-taking-the-reins-at-tigers-20231104-p5ehkh.html

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TigerSteve
(@tigersteve)
2023 Tipping Comp Winner Moderator
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 739
 

Apparently Lee Hagipentalis wants to be known as Bud as well…….

 

Bud Abbott


   
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(@helmesy)
Wests Tigers Development Player Admin
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 3919
Topic starter  

Posted by: @tigersteve

Apparently Lee Hagipentalis wants to be known as Bud as well…….

 

Bud Abbott

You could ask who’s on first? But then you’d probably get a legal letter.

 

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