Secret 'Renegades' behind Broncos revival
They exist in the NRL neverland; the men contracted to clubs who do all of the training yet share in little if any of the glory.
They are the fringe first-graders on hand for an emergency and at the Broncos they take their role very seriously.
Jon Green, Todd Lowrie, Greg Eden, Ajuma Adams and Travis Waddell have been at every training session since the pre-season began but will more than likely end the year without a single NRL start to their name.
For a player towards the end of their career such as Green, it's a difficult existence of personal ambition and team-first mentality in what will be his 10th and final season in the NRL.
"Don't get me wrong, it's tough. Last year was harder because I came here on a three-month off-season [contract] and I knew if I trained and trialled I'd be able to stay the season and Anthony Griffin gave me that which I was very thankful for," Green told NRL.com.
"There are a group of us this year who just haven't been able to get up there and we call ourselves the 'Renegades'. We're a team within a team and it's hard because you've got the first grade team and a couple of guys floating in and out and then you've got the Renegades.
"If we didn't have the Renegades this year it would be a lot harder than what it has been.
"With the Renegades it complements the first grade team that we're getting along as a group and we can train together as a group. We don't want to let ourselves down, let alone first grade, so I think it's quite good. We put pressure on them... We trained really well today and in patches we probably trained better than first grade."
Still waiting to make his club debut despite being contracted to the Broncos for the past two seasons, Green is realistic enough to know that a first-grade call-up is unlikely as the Broncos push for premiership glory.
Mention the 1994 Grand Final heroics of Paul Osborne and all you get is a sly grin and a shrug of the shoulders.
Twenty-one years ago this year 'Ossie' was plucked from Raiders reserve grade when John Lomax was suspended after the Preliminary Final and he not only played, but was promoted to the starting team by Canberra coach Tim Sheens and laid on the first two tries of the game for Ken Nagas and David Furner in a display as destructive as it was brief.
A former Bulldog, Dragon and Shark who was signed after being spotted playing for a West Australian junior rep team, Green has been told that at 30 years of age he is no longer part of Brisbane's future plans and there are no guarantees he will get a solitary start before his time is up.
But he'll be ready just the same, and with James Gavet and Josh McGuire out for the season with injuries and Mitchell Garbutt already in England, it may take just one more twist of fate before Green is thrust back into the limelight.
"I look at it now and think, If it comes, it comes; if it doesn't, it doesn't," Green said of an appearance with the Broncos. "I feel as though I'm ready and I'm happy with where I'm at and I'm enjoying my football at the moment.
"Wayne (Bennett, Broncos coach) has said he's got no problem playing me but I turned 30 [last Thursday] and he's got to plan for the club's future and if I'm 30 then I'm not the club's future.
"He's got younger guys there that I might feel I'm better than but they've got years on me. That's the difficulty I've got but good on them, and if I can help the young kids to get better so it speeds that process along then I'll do that."
Still weighing up whether to play on with Redcliffe in the Intrust Super Cup next season, Green is better prepared than most for life after football with a flourishing sports business called Green Sports Australia.
Providing personalised sporting equipment to junior clubs in a wide range of sports, it is a business that has grown year upon year since first launched three years ago.
Green completed a Certificate IV in Business whilst at the Dragons and with some initial assistance from NRL careers counsellor Jane Lowder – and with three children aged under five at home – he is kept busy when away from his commitments with the Broncos.
"I'm coming to the end of my career and I didn't want to just be hanging on the game, I wanted to contribute in my own way," said Green. "You could always go the traditional ways and be a coach or a trainer but I thought I had something else to offer so I thought I'd go down this route.
"The main aim is to get kids playing sport so our main targets at the moment are registration days and presentation days. A registration day pack would be a boot bag, a kicking tee and a football and the boot bag and football have club logos on them. It's all customised, you can put sponsors logos on there too.
"I liked the idea of importing stuff so I looked at camper-trailers and then my wife said I should stick to something I know and it flowed on from there.
"Thinking about when I was growing up I was always a chubby kid but I never got bullied and I think a big reason for that was that I was always in a team. If you're a part of a team then you've always got friends."