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June 21, 2024 11:24 AM

Hard work ethic of a King

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BY ALEX TIGANI
SPORTS EDITOR

There were many ways to view Josh King’s 100th NRL game last Friday.

For Melbourne Storm fans, the 60-12 result marked a fourth straight win after an unexpected four match losing streak prior.

For the home side, it marked the 12th straight time the Broncos were unable to hold off Craig Bellamy’s men at Suncorp Stadium.

Ultimately, it meant the world to the first year Storm recruit.

“I wouldn’t have believed I’d reach 100 NRL games two years ago, let alone telling my 18-year-old self or my 13-year-old self, while wearing a Melbourne Storm jersey,” King told The Hunter River Times.

“It is quite incredible, for me I just want to go out there and do my best.”

King can still recall cheering on the Newcastle Knights, including Singleton’s Steve Simpson, during their 2001 NRL premiership parade.

Yet rugby league was not even his preferred footy code until the end of his journey as a Singleton Public School student. He in fact played football for the Singleton Strikers.

THRT 1.2 POINTER PIC 6 1
Former Singleton Striker and Greyhound Josh King celebrated his 100th NRL game on Friday evening with a 60-12 win for the Melbourne Storm.

“In Year 6 I played rugby league at the school because I was a little bit bigger and I enjoyed it and I remember Mum said at the time if I wanted to have a go ‘’now is the time to do it’,” he reflected.

“So, I switched over and almost gave it up after a year and wanted to go back to soccer but I stuck by it and I am pretty thankful that I did.”

He first tasted junior premiership success at under-15 level with the Singleton Greyhounds before adding an under-18 title under coach Paul Neely to his achievements in 2012.

A decade on, he still rated the victory as one of his fondest memories and many of his Singleton teammates travelled to watch him play Cronulla this year.

On April 16, 2016, he lived out a childhood dream by playing his first NRL game for the Knights. Yet as time went on, the novelty wore off.

“There were multiple times whether it was through lack of form, I was struggling for a long time wondering if I even wanted to play footy anymore,” he revealed.

“I was in a hard spot with my mental health when I wasn’t getting picked in the teams and not being able to play any rugby league.

“At the end of 2020 my contract was up and I didn’t have any interest anywhere, I only signed a one year contract extension one week out from the pre-season.

Though he played 18 games in 2021, his game time had been limited.

Therefore by the time he was notified the Storm had declared their interest, his hard work ethic had finally been rewarded.

“I have never been the most talented player but I sure have tried my hardest throughout everything that I have done so my biggest thing is that belief in yourself,” he concluded.

“If you take it with both hands and work hard enough it is crazy what you can make of something.

“Also, my NRL debut was coincidentally at Suncorp Stadium and (I think) the Broncos beat us 53-0 so I probably owed them one.”

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