Saints’ head coach Keiron Cunningham has no qualms about including his 18-year-old son, Jonah, in his senior squad for the 2017 Super League season - but insists he will not be given any special favours.
“He might be my son at home but when he comes to work he is just another player and treated accordingly,” said Cunningham.
Reputations mean nothing and only last two seconds as far as I’m concerned and if anyone is considered not good enough they will be moved on and that includes JonahKeiron Cunningham
He added; “There is no extra pressure on me having my son on board, if anything the pressure is on him because he gets the tough end of the stick.
“I like to think he has earned everything he has achieved so far and done all the hard work but like any other player he gets screamed at if he does the wrong things.
“There is no favouritism at Saints - and that’s my philosophy as well. Reputations mean nothing and only last two seconds as far as I’m concerned and if anyone is considered not good enough they will be moved on and that includes Jonah
“He is my son but this place comes first. I love the club but at the same time when I come home he is my sibling and not just another player in his training kit.
“The kid has been leaving home for training at 7am and sometimes only returning at 8.30pm. It has been the same route for the past two years and believe me he has not had it easy.”
Andy and Owen Farrell (Rugby League and Rugby Union), Brian and Nigel Clough (soccer), Micky and Alec Stewart (cricket) and Chris Eubank snr. and jnr (boxing) are four father and sons who have overcome the often used jibe ‘tha’ll never be as good as your old man’ to reach the top of their respective sports.
Jonah is hoping to follow the same path.