Bright new horizon ......

Wests Tigers tackling machine Alex Twal can, for the first time, see a future without football and it’s a vision he finds energising.

Twal and Wests Tigers teammate Oliver Clark have completed courses at Australian Catholic University and are already plotting their next steps towards fulfilling careers beyond the NRL.

Six years after he left Parramatta Marist High School, assessments, lectures and course notes are finally an afterthought for Twal who has completed a Bachelor of Commerce.

While COVID-19 restrictions have put on hold his graduation ceremony, the 24-year-old can at least begin pursuing opportunities to put his marketing major to the test.

Wests Tigers forward Alex Twal
Wests Tigers forward Alex Twal
©Wests Tigers
“It’s awesome to be finished,” Twal said.

“I’m really interested in seeing how businesses perform.

“It’s good to understand how that works and now I’ve got the fundamentals, I want to get some experience in the off-season.”

Clark has completed a Bachelor of Allied Health and plans to combine that with his long and painful list of injuries into a future role in high performance.

A Penrith junior but now based in Rouse Hill, Clark has during his career endured two broken ankles, a broken jaw, hamstring tears, stress fractures, a fractured rib, a fractured collarbone and a knee injury.

“I’ve played a lot of sport and done a lot of rehab,” he said.

“There’s definitely a mental block when you’ve had an injury and [although] you know you’re healthy, you still need confidence to go into contact.

Wests Tigers forward Oliver Clark
Wests Tigers forward Oliver Clark
©Wests Tigers
“Having been through what I’ve been through I know I can help others in that space.”

Twal has been committed to playing professionally since he was a teenager growing up in Merrylands in Greater Western Sydney.

He was a Parramatta junior but made his NRL debut with Wests Tigers in 2017 and broke into the Test ranks at the Rugby League World Cup with Lebanon later that year.

Twal averages almost 45 tackles per game this season and is regarded as one of the forward leaders for Wests Tigers.

Once the whistle blows on playing career, many athletes struggle to find purpose, and those who have neglected to develop themselves away from sport can face an array of problems.

Don’t fret, Wests Tigers fans: retirement is still a distant consideration for Twal but the talented forward has already commenced the transition process.

“For me it’s about being prepared for the next phase — rugby league doesn’t last forever,” he said.

“It’s 10-15 years of playing if you have a really good career, so I want to set myself up after that — whether that’s investing money or my time.”

Wests Tigers forwards Alex Twal and Oliver Clark
Wests Tigers forwards Alex Twal and Oliver Clark
©Wests Tigers

Good on them.

What I find that’s overlooked is how short the average footy career is.

It could all be over at any moment because of injury. Having something to fall back on is a must.

My god Clark has had some horror injuries. Well done to both guys

Good to see both players obtaining some very relevant and useful qualifications.

Great work both of them and the discipline and hard work that both put into their footy clearly has carried over to the off field and that will set them up well

Good on them both. You’re only ever one tackle away from Centrelink.

Great to see players future proofing themselves.

Think Twal is spending more time studying then on footy. Was one of our best but has tapered off recently.

Hopefully they both succeed in there chosen studies because they both suck at footy

Congratulations to each gentleman.
Effort brings success.
Good ethics these.

@hobbo1 said in Bright new horizon ......:

Hopefully they both succeed in there chosen studies because they both suck at footy

never fails to make me LOL coz of your sarcasm/controversial comments 😄

@4jtigers said in Bright new horizon ......:

@hobbo1 said in Bright new horizon ......:

Hopefully they both succeed in there chosen studies because they both suck at footy

never fails to make me LOL coz of your sarcasm/controversial comments 😄

No point pussy footing around mate .
Neither of them will ever have a long enough playing career to retire on funds wise .

@4jtigers said in Bright new horizon ......:

@hobbo1 said in Bright new horizon ......:

Hopefully they both succeed in there chosen studies because they both suck at footy

never fails to make me LOL coz of your sarcasm/controversial comments 😄

lol…sarcasm it was not…

@Geo said in Bright new horizon ......:

@4jtigers said in Bright new horizon ......:

@hobbo1 said in Bright new horizon ......:

Hopefully they both succeed in there chosen studies because they both suck at footy

never fails to make me LOL coz of your sarcasm/controversial comments 😄

lol…sarcasm it was not…

you know him better than I do lol… oh well 😄

Sure he can see a life without football because he certainly is not playing today.
He was good last season and prior to resumption but starting not to rate him much nowadays.
Someone who also never has scored a 1st grade try…

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