Eels' Alvaro constructing his future
"Work ethic. Knowing your role. Communication. Attention to detail. Commitment to team."
As Daniel Alvaro listened to the list of personal attributes and skills he needed to be successful in construction, he could well have been in a team meeting with Eels Head Coach Brad Arthur.
Instead he was listening to an informal appraisal of his initial period as an intern with Richard Crookes Constructions (RCC) over the past three months.
Daniel received the 2017 RCC Elite Athlete Scholarship, on top of his earlier University of Technology 'Blue' award for achieving excellence in his Business and Construction Management degree while balancing his playing and training commitments with the Eels.
RCC Project Manager Colin MacDonald, who is also Daniel’s supervisor, was straight to the point in assessing Daniel's performance.
"I had to kick Daniel out and tell him to go home on his first day; everyone else had long gone and Daniel was still working away," he said.
"From the outset he has shown he has the right temperament for the industry.
"He has enthusiasm, drive and a desire to learn."
For his part, Alvaro was appreciative of the opportunity afforded to him by Richard Crookes Constructions who offered him a tailored internship to complement both his studies and his training and playing commitments with the Eels.
"Colin's been a great mentor for me," Daniel said.
"He expects high standards but he also briefs me on what is required then delegates specific tasks that allow me to learn by experience.
"The whole experience has informed my study – particularly in my current work in construction technology that focuses on high-rise construction.
"At times I have been given an insight into the logistics of site engineering by performing a role similar to a foreman in organising trades and liaising with contractors," he continued.
Daniel has worked with Richard Crooks Constructions on his days off and worked full-time from the end-of-season until going into Camp to represent Italy in the World Cup.
Importantly – like many other players – he saw this involvement in work and study away from the NRL as actually having a positive impact on his football performance.
"It is great to get your head out of the footy mind-set and return to training mentally refreshed and ready to go," he said.
Colin MacDonald sees the same attitude when Alvaro turns up on the work-site.
"I wouldn't normally give the responsibilities that Daniel has been delegated to an intern at this stage," Colin said.
"But Daniel ticks all the boxes.
"He's early to work and stays until the job is done; a real team player.
"He's not a clock-watcher and his work ethic and attention to detail makes him a welcome member of our team," he concluded.
The same qualities that have seen Alvaro have his best NRL season to date.