THE Albion Park-Oak Flats Rugby League Football Club is known as one of the strongest production lines not only in Group Seven but the South Coast.
From Jason Hooper (played for the Steelers and Dragons) and Aaron Gorrell (played for Dragons and Broncos) to now Drew Hutchison (now at Roosters), Adam Clune (now at Dragons) and Dylan Lucas (now at Knights), the Eagles always seem to produce elite rugby league talent.
The latest of these is electric outside back Kane Ball, who this week penned a one-year deal with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Jersey Flegg side.
"Being part of the Sharks this year means a great deal to me, as it is a stepping stone to hopefully playing in the NRL in the future," Ball said.
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"I have a lot of family members that are Sharks supporters and they are really excited that I have joined Cronulla."
Ball, who was named Country Rugby League's Player's Player and Player of the Tour during November's trip to England, started training with the Sharks in September - following the Eagles under 18s grand final loss to Warilla-Lake South.
"I was lucky enough to get a trial with Cronulla in September last year," he said.
"A couple of days after the trial, I was fortunate enough to be asked to be in their pre-season squad, on a train-and-trial deal."
The 18-year-old then kicked-off pre-season with the Sharks under 20s side in November - with each sessions being an avenue for Ball to showcase his skills.
"It's been hard work and definitely a challenge," he said.
"The amount of training really takes a toll on your body at first, especially as some weeks we were training up to five days.
"The hardest thing about pre-season was the long-distance travel - I left home early in the afternoons and walked back in the door late at night, which left me with not much free time.
"Thankfully, I have been able to carpool with some other boys from Wollongong, which has made it much easier.
"The hard work and sacrifice have definitely been worth it as I'm starting to see and feel improvements."
Ball, who won an under 18s premiership in 2018 with the Eagles, believes all the training has put him in the best shape of his life.
"The biggest aspect the Sharks are helping me work is building strength and muscle, so I can be more effective on the field," he said.
"To do this, I will need to develop a healthy diet and eat foods that will help me achieve my desired body weight while working hard in the gym and on the field.
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"I'm feeling improvements in my decision-making and ball handling - making me a stronger option in attack.
"In saying that, there are still areas in my game that I'd love to improve on.
"I'm grateful for this opportunity to work with the club every day and I'm looking forward to starting the season."
Thankfully for Ball, his season kick-offs this Sunday, as his Sharks travel to Redfern Oval on Sunday to battle premiers South Sydney.
"My goals this year is to play as many games as possible and show I have the potential to progress," he said.
"On top of that, I would also love to win a premiership with the Sharks.
"I hope this opportunity leads me to bigger and better things in my rugby league career."