ONE of this season's new unsung heroes at the YMCA is feisty flanker Steve Anderson.
The 20-year-old 'blonde bomber' has been recruited from West Leeds and has been quick to make his mark as a gritty, no-nonsense wing forward, who is definitely not frightened of getting his head in where it hurts.
Unfortunately, two weeks ago, that led to a collision with his own winger Dave Holmes which left both men on the ground and in need of treatment!
Anderson finished up in hospital with a severe gash over of an eye which required several stitches.
But it didn't prevent him, or Holmes, returning immediately to duty for last week's Cup-tie against Hoylake.
It is the sort of commitment that the Leeds-based player embodies, and which tempted him to join the YM and turn his back on his hometown club of West Leeds, where he came up through the junior ranks, helping them win the Yorkshire Shield at Under 15 level four years ago.
"I already knew YM's coach Carl Thewlis (right), because he did some coaching at my school," said Anderson.
"And it was Carl who then took me to West Leeds (where he was also an assistant coach), after I'd played rugby league for a couple of months at Stanningley.
"As a junior I played on the wing, and I managed to score the winning try in the Yorkshire Shield semi-final victory over Sandal, before going on to beat Middlesbrough in the final that year.
"But more recently there has been a lack of club atmosphere and ambition (reflected by West Leeds dropping to fourth-bottom in Yorkshire III), so when Carl asked me if I fancied joining him at theYM I jumped at the chance.
"It's a much better standard of rugby, and I'm really enjoying it at Laund Hill."
Anderson travels from his Armley home, which he shares with his fiancee and baby daugher, three times a week for training.
"I think the club are on the way up, and hopefully we can start moving up the League in the New Year," he said.
For the last two-and-half years, Anderson, who turned 20 last month, has been working at the Raddisson Hotel in Leeds, where he is the front reception shift leader.
It is a vocation which he is obviously carrying over into his private life at the YM, where he is quickly establishing himself as one of the
'leaders of the pack'.
A virtual ever-present this season, coach Thewlis will be hoping Anderson turns out to be one of the mainstays of the first team as he aims to build a squad capable of moving YM up the levels.