A day he’ll remember for years

Luke Parker
A day he’ll remember for years

Taking the field at the Downer NRL Auckland Nines over the weekend will no doubt be seared into Karlos Nickel’s memory for years to come.

An avid league and Warriors’ supporter, the 12-year-old won the Westpac NRL Auckland Nines Ball Boy/Girl Competition after creating a piece of art of player Manu Vatuvei.

SEE ALSO: Karlos wins experience of a lifetime

So on Sunday, before the quarter final between the Melbourne Storm and Parramatta Eels, he made his way to the player’s tunnel.

Karlos-Nickel-and-Johnathan-Thurston

Karlos Nickel and Johnathan Thurston

It was here he met with NRL superstar Johnathan Thurston which he says was a great experience to shake the legend's hand in person.

Then after a few photos and a t-shirt signing, it was out to the side-line in preparation for his moment.

“I was feeling a bit nervous, a bit shaky.”

His nerves were slightly distracted by the roar of the 35,000 punters screaming during the Kiwi Ferns vs Australian Jillaroos women’s league game as he sat waiting.

Karlos says it was his dad that initially told him about the competition where youngsters aged 8 - 14 yrs were tasked to create a piece of art of their favourite NRL Auckland Nine’s player.

He used polystyrene as part of his creation which ended up earning him first place and a prize package of 4 gold passes to the Waitangi Weekend competition and the official duty of running the ball out at one of the quarter finals.

“It took me two afternoons. Around 8 hours to finish.”

But he says all that work was totally worth it.

As his name was called out over the loud speaker, the crowd cheered and Karlos did his thing - smiling all the way.

Eden Park

SEE ALSO: Karlos wins experience of a lifetime

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