Cowboys flyer Gideon Gela-Mosby has vowed to clean up his act off the field so that he can break into the Cowboys' NRL team in 2017 and prove that there is still a place for smaller wingers in the modern game.
A star of the Downer NRL Auckland Nines for the second year in a row, Gela-Mosby started on the wing in the Cowboys' 11-10 win over the Roosters in Mackay on Saturday night but has a fight ahead of him to move past Antonio Winterstein, Kyle Feldt and Kalyn Ponga in the pecking order of wingers in Townsville.
A speed freak from the Torres Strait via Cairns, Gela-Mosby scored an astonishing 53 tries in the past two years in the Holden Cup but having turned 20 on December 27 must now step up into open age company.
That means putting his 180-centimetre, 87-kilogram frame up against the giants who often populate the wings of top-level rugby league teams but he insists he is ready for what is to come.
"I expect a lot of a challenge because I'm going up against bigger guys," Gela-Mosby told NRL.com.
"It will be a good challenge for my speed and stuff but I'm ready for it and ready for a big challenge.
"To improve myself I have to get everything off the field right. That will give me a good headspace so that I can play better at footy. Off the field at the moment I'm getting everything all right.
"I've been committed ever since pre-season started. It's been hard sometimes because at the start of it it was really hard but I got the hang of it during pre-season."
The likely scenario for Gela-Mosby is that he will begin the 2017 season playing for the Northern Pride in the Intrust Super Cup, providing the opportunity to return home to Cairns regularly where his mother and father still reside.
From there it is a matter of waiting for opportunity to come knocking and veteran Cowboys back-rower Gavin Cooper said it is then a matter of being ready to make the most of it.
"It's a tough one. He's very quick, very good finisher but now that he is too old for 20s playing against men every week in the Q Cup will be good for him and good for his development," Cooper said.
"Playing against men will sort him out pretty quickly. It's just too big of a jump to go from 20s straight into first grade.
"We've got two guys that have been there on the wings for us in Antonio and 'Feldty' that have been there for a long while and done a great job.
"'Gids' is a little bit of a different player. He's more of a quick, elusive guy as opposed to the bigger, powerful wingers that those two guys are.
"Footy's a funny game, you can be locked into a position your whole life and then one injury and you can get pushed out by someone over-performing."