Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma’s inspiration to succeed
Nathan Ryan •
FOX SPORTS •
January 24, 201412:00AM
DAVID Nofoaluma knows how lucky he is.
Raised without the presence of his mother or father, it was his grandparents Sisifo and Lyn Nofoaluma who raised the Wests Tigers flyer.
A product of his environment, Nofoaluma credits his grandfather as his inspiration to achieve his dreams of becoming an NRL star.
“I grew up with my grandparents so my grandad got me into (rugby league),” Nofoaluma says.
"My mum couldn’t really support me so she thought the best thing to do was to give me to my grandparents to look after me.
"My grandad took me to my games and drove me. He was the one that really got me into it. I could see that he must have seen that I was going well and I noticed that as I was playing through (the grades) and kept my focus on the game of footy, loved it and enjoyed it every time I played.
“I’m actually grateful for that because if I wasn’t staying with (my grandparents) and they didn’t raise me I guess I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Raised in Campbelltown, David is a Magpies junior and spent his junior career climbing his way up the ranks at the Tigers.
Rarely missing a game at Campbelltown Stadium, it was Sisifo who would drive David to training in his Ford Falcon until the speedster turned 18 and got his first car.
It is a sentiment not lost on the 20-year-old who grew up supporting the club he is now a star of.
Since making his debut last season, Nofoaluma wasted no time in making a name for himself.
He caught the attention of sporting fans worldwide for an acrobatic try he scored against Manly.
Leaping for a Benji Marshall cross-field bomb, Nofoaluma caught the ball in the air before being hit by Jorge Taufua and despite his body dangling over the touch line, the winger was able to place the ball in the field of play. It was awarded the Dally M Try of the Year.
With teams well aware of what the youngster can produce, Nofoaluma says his goal this season is to play with consistency.
“Being my first year getting try of the year and my second game I got the match-winning try - I have to back it up next season,” he said.
“I’m not saying I have to do anything spectacular but I have to be a better player.”
Having already increased his speed and strength during the off-season, the Junior Kangaroo knows with the return of Pat Richards, rivalry for spots is going to be fierce.
But rather than look at the veteran winger as competition, Nofoaluma sees him more as a role model - taking any opportunity to learn from him.
“There’s a lot you can learn from his experience just by the way he trains and the little things he does,” he said.
“The coaches told me to watch him at training … his preparation and always on the spot, switched on at every session and doing the little things right. Because he shows that I have to step up because he is the more experienced player.”
And while Nofoaluma credits the likes of Robbie Farah and Mick Potter as being his mentors at the Tigers, his grandfather will always be his greatest advisor.
Sisifo may have traded the drive to training for regular phone calls to provide some calming advice - all the miles and petrol have proved to be well worth it.
“I’m proud to know that I have made him proud,” he said of his grandfather.
“All the times he has taken me to training has paid off.”
Plenty of people that post here would like to have Ferguson. Like you, I don’t want him with us, even if he’s found not guilty and cleared to play.
If Rowdy isn’t at his best I would take Ferguson
We need a option in the centres that creates fear in opposition defences with size and speed