Joel Gould,

Queensland under-18 winger Xavier Coates – who debuted for the Ben Campbell Building Group Tweed Heads Seagulls last weekend – grew up playing club footy with Brisbane Broncos half Tom Dearden at the Currumbin Eagles and is now inspired to follow in the teenager’s footsteps.

Coates, contracted to the Broncos, has watched Dearden ascend from Palm Beach Currumbin High star last year to become the first choice half at the Broncos.

It is a remarkable rise and even more poignant for Coates considering he is also 18 years of age, like his good mate Dearden.