INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR GARVEY
USA Tomahawk and Pennsylvania Bulls winger Michael Garvey has been named the USA International Player of the Year, one of the highest individual honors in the world of rugby league.
The prestigious award was announced by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) and caps a stellar season for the Philadelphia native.
“It was a surprise and an honor to receive this award," said Garvey. "I woke up to congratulatory messages with no idea what I was being congratulated for. Once I figured it out, I still had to read it a few times before I believed it.”
Garvey joins past recipients Apple Pope (2011), Nate Smith (2010) and Siose Muliumu (2009) in being recognized internationally for their high standard of play.
“It feels great to be placed in a category with those guys and I'm happy I got the opportunity to play with Nate last year before he hung up his boots,” he added.
Garvey has had an outstanding year playing for the Ipswich Jets in the Queensland Rugby League competition in Australia. As part of the AMNRL’s player exchange program with the QRL, he was a regular starter in the Jets’ FOGS team, one step below the club’s senior side.
“From a Rugby League standpoint, 2012 was a big year for me,” continued Garvey. “Playing overseas in Australia improved my game far more than I could have ever expected. My intention was to play one year overseas, but I had such a great experience with the Ipswich Jets that I could not resist going back next year for another season.
“I have to thank Steven Johnson [AMNRL Football Development Manager] who made all of that possible, as well as putting a roof over my head.”
All of this has whetted the appetite for more top class rugby league next year and beyond.
“I hope to continue improving my game in the 2013 season leading to the World Cup because I know spots on the team will be extremely hard to come by. Past that I hope to continue my rugby sevens career as well as I must admit the 2016 Olympics in Rio are a dream of mine.”