THE NRL's hard line approach to 'No Work, No Play' is reaping serious rewards, with young players more prepared than ever for life after footy.
The program's success relies heavily on the dedication of education and welfare managers not only at the NRL level but within clubs.
Holden Cup Wellbeing and Education Manager Tony McFadden said education programs have gained increasing traction over the last five years and were producing well-rounded young men more prepared than ever for post-footy life.
Players that don't heed the 'No Work, No Play' mantra are ineligible for team selection.
"The emphasis is that if they are not making a genuine attempt at work and study then they ineligible to be selected for the NYC," Mr McFadden said.
"If they learn really good habits they are going to be better for it in the future."
Every under 20s player must be engaged in an extra curricular activity including study, work or volunteering for a minimum three days a week.
While the NRL encourages players to strive for university, TAFE NSW is a popular avenue for players and a gateway to further education.
The Holden Cup is filled with TAFE success stories including those of the up-and-coming Victor Radley and Bulldogs star Moses Mbye.
"Victor Radley in the Holden Cup has completed his apprenticeship already," Mr McFadden said.
"He's got a qualification there in the bank and he's got that forever.
"He can build on it ... footy hasn't held him back."
Mbye's story is used as a case study to highlight to younger players that education will give them more options rather than hinder their careers.
Mybe completed two TAFE courses and one a diploma before taking the leap into a Bachelor's degree.
"All the arguments that 'I have to focus 100 per cent on footy' or 'it's going to hold me back' and 'I'm going to be tired' doesn't cut it anymore.
"Guys [like Moses Mybe] are proving it wrong.
"Moses Mbye is my pin-up boy. He came down from the Sunshine Coast to Belmore and lived in a group house, studied Community Recreation Certificate IV and worked as a teacher's aide, makes his NRL debut in 2013 and four years later he's done his Diploma of Business. He's now in his Bachelor of Business and he's got a T-shirt brand with Knights player Jaelen Feeney.
"Doors will open up for guys as they go through their career but they won't open up very wide or they'll close very quickly if they don't have the relevant qualifications to keep going."
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