Injuries and tough competition pressure have been the biggest concerns for two young NRL and ALF players, as they look to their potential future with securing contracts to play in representative teams.
Parramatta Eels fullback Lindsay Munro in the Jersey flag side under 21s and Jack Rule who plays defender for the inner west Magpies both said they have had to face new challenges and pressures in 2023, due mainly to social and mainstream media attention, more competitive competition and fear of injury and unselection.
Mr Munro said the added pressure, with more responsibility each week, is a challenge but something that he is keen to adapt to and learn from.
“As a club, we’re kind of representing the whole club with not just our team but with our off field interactions, so we have to hold it with pride,” he said.
“We wear the badge with pride, so we take full responsibility with that each week.”
Both players have their sights set on securing contracts in the lateral of their seasons in the hope of representing Parramatta Eels and the GWS Giants.
Unfortunately, injury plays a major part in their ability to perform, Mr Rule has spent several weeks out with a hamstring injury and hopes to make a return this weekend.
“Unfortunately you can’t control these things, but I’ve taken the right steps and measures to ensure I have a full recovery and hopefully I’ll get to play this weekend,” he said.
Combined with this is added pressure from media outlets and the pressure of upholding the image of the club, their sights are still set on playing at a representative level.
“On a personal level, I would love to work this season towards hopefully getting a New South Wales contract, with reserve grade to start 2024,” Mr Munro said.
Mr Rule, who is also in the GWS VFL development team said that despite the challenges he was looking towards the future.
“I’m just focusing on performing well and playing good footy and hopefully good things will come from that, that’s all I can hope for,” Mr Rule said.
With the larger part of their seasons still remaining both men have said they look forward to seeing positive outcomes despite the sporting industry pressures.