The balancing act
iSelect Gold Coast Titans NYC players Anthony Colman and Daniel Schwass are busy bucking the trend surrounding footballers as they balance their emerging rugby league careers with their tertiary studies at Griffith University.
The duo, who are playing in their second year of the National Youth Competition, are undertaking their first year of studies of a Bachelor of Secondary Education.
Anthony, 19, was a regular in the Titans NYC side throughout the 2014 season playing 19 games and his efforts were rewarded when he was named as 18th man in first grade for the final round of the NRL against the Bulldogs.
Despite such a positive season on the field, Colman remains focused off the field as he juggles his university and football commitments with his job as a community and game development trainee at the Titans.
“I have to plan my weeks once I know when we are training and when I'm working and I have to dedicate time to doing my university work to keep on top of it,” he said.
Daniel Schwass, who also works as a game and development trainee for the Titans, is a tall, athletic halfback who has followed a different pathway in his emerging career.
Schwass, 19, was born and raised on the Gold Coast and played his junior football with the Mudgeeraba Redbacks before defecting to the Burleigh Bears for his senior football.
2014 has been just as fruitful for Schwass who played seven games for the Titans before leading Burleigh to the FOGS COLTS minor premiership and rounding out the season playing in the Queensland Cup.
The importance of having a ‘back up’ plan for those who are pursuing a career in the NRL is highlighted by the statistics that illustrate the average career span of a professional football to be 43 games or just over two seasons.
Jennifer Cross, Player Welfare Manager for the Titans, says the club in accordance with the NRL has implemented rules to ensure that players aren’t left without proper qualifications or a job.
“The NRL have a rule that players must be studying or working at least 24 hours per week to ensure that players are engaged in activities other than rugby league to ensure they are balanced in life,” she said.
Cross spoke of the advantage of an exclusive relationship between the club and Griffith University had on players looking to undertake tertiary studies.
“The Griffith Sports College works with each individual player to ensure their timetable and exams are flexible in terms of their sporting commitments,” Cross said.
In terms of bucking the trend associated with footballers failing to have a ‘back up’ plan, Daniel and Anthony are well on their way to doing that as they prove balancing an emerging professional career with university studies and work can be done.