Adam Clydsdale has seen sport from another point of view this season.
Not only is the former NRL hooker now playing at the same Maitland rugby league club where grandfather Don “Bandy” Adams famously plied his trade, but the Scone-bred 25-year-old has been busy keeping track of Australian representative girlfriend Yasmin Meakes on the world rugby sevens circuit.
Outright player-of-the-year leader Clydsdale has simply enjoyed taking it all in, both the family’s trip down a black and white memory lane and the new experience of supportive partner on the sidelines.
With the shoe well and truly on the other foot, Clydsdale made the trek across to Canada in March to watch Meakes play from the stands.
“She [Meakes] got onto the circuit this year and has been to a few different places like Japan, Canada and France, where she just got back from,” Clydsdale said.
“I went over to the Canada one and it was good being in the opposite position to watch her play.”
Clydsdale and brother Luke, the Pickers reserve grade captain-coach, are following in the footsteps of Adams, a former premiership winner at Maitland and 1956 Kangaroos tourist.
“It’s pretty crazy actually, especially having me and my brother both playing there at the same time,” he said.
“Pop having played at Maitland makes it special. We still hear all the stories from back in the day.”
Clydsdale, who knew Pickers prop Dane Tilse growing up in the Upper Hunter, has made his presence felt at Maitland in the opening nine rounds of the 2018 campaign.
After another man-of-the-match performance in Saturday’s 22-16 win over the Goannas in Cessnock, Clydsdale has moved to 12 points and is three clear of Central’s Terence Seu Seu (9) on the individual-prize tally which goes behind closed doors in a fortnight.
It comes after 57 NRL games between 2013 and 2017, mainly for the Knights but also Canberra and Cronulla, before leaving a recent deal in the nation’s capital and returning to the tools as a carpenter in Newcastle.
“I feel like I haven’t lost my competitive edge,” he said. “I still love playing footy and it’s good to come back.”
Linking with Pickers captain-coach Luke Dorn, a former NRL and English Super League player, has also been a highlight.
“I think having a younger coach with Dorny, we sort of talk a fair bit about plays and what’s going on through the week,” he said.
“So I suppose I’ve taken on a bit of a role that way as well.”
POY POINTS: Adam Clydsdale (Maitland) 12, Terence Seu Seu (Central) 9, Paul Carter (Cessnock) 8, Cameron King (Souths) 7, Shaun Boss (Lakes) 7.