Maitland Pickers young gun Jarron Costelloe has spent the past six weeks training twice a day and madly studying French.
Costelloe has put himself through the regime after signing with French National Division One team Villeneuve Minervois Carcassonne in the south of France after being talent spotted via the internet.
The French club were impressed with Costelloe’s video highlights package put together by his manager and uncle, former Newcastle Knights and Wigan player, John Gay.
“It was totally out of the blue for me,” 20-year-old Costelloe, who flies out for France on Sunday, said.
“It’s an incredible opportunity and I’m probably still struggling to believe it’s all happening.
“I’ve been training twice a day for the past six weeks. I do a gym session on the weights to build myself up and an aerobics session, running up the hills around Newcastle.
“I’ve also been studying up on French. I know a few phrases enough to get me through at first.
“It’s like a dream, getting a call from John out of the blue and the next thing you know I’m off to France for a year playing footy and everything’s taken care of for me.
“They’ve set me up in a two bedroom apartment, I get use of a car when I want, get paid to play footy and I get to do a bit a part time work with the mayor of the city for extra money.”
A knee injury four years ago, which ended his chances of a Under-20s contract with the Parramatta Eels, has given the NSW junior representative a keen awareness of not taking things for granted.
“I was out for two years and came back to the Pickers, where I captained the under-19s,” Costelloe, who made his first grade debut in 2016, said.
“I really just want to work hard and give it my best shot. If it leads on to other things like Super League it would be great. If not what an experience to live and play footy in France for a year.”