He is the younger brother of one of the most successful Kiwi players of the NRL era, and now Jeremy Marshall-King is working hard to make a professional career himself, playing in the Wests Tigers’ reserve grade side.
Kiwileaguecentral.com sat down for a quick catch up with the 21-year-old utility.
KLC: Tell us a bit about your childhood Jeremy, we know Benji spent a fair bit of time in Whakatane before heading to Australia, was that the same for you?
JMK: I was raised in Whakatane for about 10 years and then moved over to Sydney and stayed with my brother. I have been there ever since.
I didn’t really play many sports growing up, I did a bit of rugby union in New Zealand but after going to Sydney I started to play rugby league.
You have spent most of your life in Australia then, but have you always seen yourself as a New Zealander?
Oh I class myself as a Kiwi for sure. I want to play for the Kiwis, I don’t want to be an Aussie. I know my roots, and I will stick to them!
I didn’t play any age-group rep stuff for either country. I played U20s at the Wests Tigers and that was about it. I have since moved up to the NSW Cup with the club.
You have played all through the backline at stages, and also at hooker, do you have preferred position at this point?
I don’t know yet, I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens with the future. I am trying to develop in the halves and that is my preferred position. But as you say I have been playing all over the place, fullback, half, hooker, I like those positions but ideally I want to be a half.
Is being Benji Marshall’s little brother a gift or a curse in terms of your career?
A bit of both, it gets annoying sometimes with people coming up to me and saying ‘oh you’re Benji’s brother,’ everyone says it and I am over hearing it, I’d rather just make my own name I guess.
But it has driven me for sure, he is my big brother, I look up to him for sure and he is a good player, but in the future I have got to make my own name.
We talk a bit of league and that, and then sometimes we just be brothers and talk about normal stuff.
While you play in the NSW Cup are you working a day job as well?
Yeah I am part time with the squad and have been doing demolition in Sydney, it’s good, physical, and I like it. But hopefully I can become a full-time footy player soon.
You want to play footy full-time, but it’s just about working hard I guess and you have to make sure you keep grinding.
I am just trying to develop and then have a crack at the NRL in 2017. We will wait and see. But that’s my dream, to be an NRL player and hopefully I get to achieve that soon.
This article first appeared on http://www.kiwileaguecentral.com