Leeds Rhinos: It’s all about game time for debut ace Oledzki

Mikolaj Oledski scores against Doncaster.
Mikolaj Oledski scores against Doncaster.
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ENGLAND ACADEMY prop Mikolaj Oledzki has described his Leeds Rhinos debut as a “dream come true”, but insists it is just another step on the road.

The 18-year-old, who was born in Gdansk, Poland, was a substitute in last week’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup win over Doncaster and scored a try after coming off the bench in the second half.

Mikolaj Oledzki'.

Mikolaj Oledzki'.

Oledzki had already made a big impact in the Kingstone Press Championship this year on loan at Bradford Bulls and dual-registration with Featherstone Rovers.

He had been named in Rhinos’ initial 19-man squad several times without making the 17, but is hoping one appearance will lead to many more.

“I have worked hard as an individual and to make my debut was my biggest goal,” Oledzki said.

“It was the challenge I was trying to achieve and every game I played was a step closer to that.

“I was trying to get better and better every game and show the coaches what I can do and try to impress to get that spot in the team and make my debut.

“On Friday a dream came true for me and to get a try was like a bonus for me.”

Oledzki said making his debut at Headingley added to the experience.

“Getting out on the field and playing in front of all the Rhinos fans was amazing,” he recalled.

“The atmosphere around the stadium was great and a try just topped it off for me.

“It was great, I could not have asked for a better debut.”

Oledzki was a late starter in rugby league, beginning at East Leeds and then moving on to Hunslet Warriors.

He has made rapid progress, earning a five-year contract with Rhinos and featuring for England under-19s on last summer’s tour to Australia.

His Bulls debut, in their opening game of this season, was the first time he had played against open-age opposition in a competitive fixture.

Bradford coach Geoff Toovey and owner Andrew Chalmers were in the crowd last Friday and are keen to see Oledzki back at Odsal, but he has also impressed Rovers boss Jon Sharp and more games on dual-registration could be on the card.

Rhinos coach Brian McDermott was due to name his initial squad for Thursday’s visit of Huddersfield Giants this afternoon and Oledzki said: “My goal at the moment now is – wherever I end up next – I am just going to give it my best.

“I will put in 100 per cent and hopefully keep improving and keep impressing people. That’s my goal, to get more games under my belt.

“It has happened really quickly, it feels like I only went to Bradford a few weeks ago. It is a good thing for me, it is a step forward.

“That’s what I want to do in my career, just keep moving forward. As long as I am moving forward that’s the main thing. For me at the moment things are going the right way and getting my debut is a big step forward.”