Round one of a new football season always brings with it the emergence of new and exciting stars to watch, and Tigers forward Edward Burrows-Cheng has certainly emerged as one such player after a dynamic opening round.
Burrows-Cheng kicked four goals in his TSL debut for the Tigers, rejoining his junior club after several seasons playing for and being club president at Bond University in Queensland while studying a law degree.
His return to the Tigers looks to be a key one for a club eager to push into finals and premiership calculations in 2018.
Burrows-Cheng, 22, provides great versatility to the Tigers forward set-up, with the capacity to work up the ground, compete well in the air and at ground level, but insists the highlight for himself on Good Friday was playing alongside his younger brother, Oliver.
“It was a long-time dream of mine to play with Oliver. The six-year age gap between us meant it was quite hard and everything had to coincide at the right time, but it was a proud moment.
“He gave me my second goal and I gave him one back. It meant a lot to the family for us to play together,” he said.
Much like their AFL namesake, the Tigers have opted for a small forward set-up for 2018, something Burrows-Cheng sees as a key strength moving forward.
“I feel pretty comfortable up forward and the group are working well together. We have a lot of young bloke, so I am the oldest out of our forward group, but if we can keep developing as a group I reckon we will be really good.
“We are a small forward line and with that comes pace and pressure. The likes of Connor Bryant and Cooper Sawdy who have gone through the Mariners program will be massive assets for the club into the future.
“We can apply pressure and put that onto opposition defenders which will make us a difficult group to play against,” he said.
Burrows-Cheng, who is currently completing his legal practical, as well as being a member of the Tigers’ leadership group, and as a youth women’s coach, is loving his time back at the Twin Ovals, insisting the tough nature of Tassie footy is a welcome return.
“I have been pretty blessed when these games have been quite warm so the ball movement is pretty similar. The physicality I was used to before I left has come back a bit more.
“I had missed that part of Tassie footy, it’s a part of the game I love,” he said.
That physicality is set to go up another notch this weekend when the Tigers meet North Launcetson at UTAS Stadium.
“It will go up a couple of levels against North Launcetson. We are looking forward to testing ourselves against the premiers, we are ready for it and it is something we have been preparing for all preseason.
“They did a good job against Launceston so we will go up there and give it everything we’ve got.
“If we can play our brand of football by our values, I’m confident we can make a push for the finals,” Burrows-Cheng said.