16Es to Catchpole Medal: Michael Icely’s rise from late bloomer to Shute Shield MVP

This article originally appeared in last weekend's Rugby News finals program

Eastwood’s Micheal Icely edged out Norths’ Jude Gibbs and Manly’s Zac Barnabas for the Shute Shield’s top individual award. All three players will feature at North Sydney Oval this Saturday.

MICHAEL ICELY has come a long way from playing in the 16E’s in his final years of high school.

The 2023 Ken Catchpole Medal winner has been one of, if not, the most dominant forward in the Shute Shield in recent seasons, but that wasn’t always the case.

“Yeah, I was a bit of a late bloomer. I was never crash hot during school but I still loved rugby,” Icely told Rugby News

“I ended up playing in the 3rd XV in year 12 at Joeys with a bunch of really good mates and when they decided to play at Eastwood after school, I followed them there and I’ve been here ever since.”

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