Piano man Addo-Carr finally gets call from Bellamy
Not all that long ago, Josh Addo-Carr's eyes would light up if a call came through for a piano to be moved.
As a 16-year-old furniture removalist, it meant a serious pay day.
But of the hundreds of messages he's fielded since being named for a cherished NSW debut, it was Craig Bellamy's call – the first Addo-Carr reckons he's fielded from the Melbourne mastermind – that confirmed he'd truly earned it.
"Craig rang and just said 'you deserve (to be) where you are and all the success that you can get'," Addo-Carr told NRL.com.
"I've never got a text or a call from him before. That was overwhelming that he could actually use his phone and ring me!
"That's a good sign that I'm doing well. For him to ring me up personally and talk about things was very pleasing."
Addo-Carr's rise to the Blues flank has been rapid, and at the same time roundabout.
He has been a regular first-grader for less than 18 months, yet already boasts 41 tries from 48 outings, first with Wests Tigers and now the Storm.
He has also lugged furniture, shifted scrap, drilled and concreted holes as a labourer seven days a week.
Bounced around Sydney and through the Rabbitohs SG Ball ranks, Cronulla's under 20s and the Tigers on what was at first a train and trial deal.
All the while checking in with relatives behind bars at various points in his life, who he would later acknowledge with a facemask try celebration during his rookie NRL season.
As a teen, Addo-Carr attended famed rugby league breeding ground Matraville Sports High, only a few years below new Blues teammate James Roberts, but the classroom simply couldn't contain him.
Soon enough he was living in Brisbane and well and truly earning his pocket money.
"School wasn't working out for me at the time, I moved up there with my dad and started working, moving furniture and moving people's houses," Addo-Carr says.
"I've moved a piano or two. It's an extra $1000 for the job if you move a piano so I used to enjoy those days, it was pretty good money! Still, I don't miss it at all.
"Footy was still on my radar, school wasn't working though so I had to work and earn my keep.
"Everything that's happened in my life has definitely shaped me into the man I am today. I guess it's a blessing in disguise, all the things that happened growing up.
"I just can't believe all the hard work and dedication I've put in over the years is finally coming to show."
Speaking at his official team naming earlier this week, Brad Fittler was quick to dub Addo-Carr as the hardest hit by his ban on phone whenever the Blues are assembled en masse.
Maybe the 23-year-old could be forgiven with the contact list he's proudly rattled through over the last 48 hours.
"I rang close family and friends, the first people I told were my mum and my dad, (then) cousins, brothers and sisters, aunties and uncles all over the shop," he said.
"The night after the team got announced I had about 125 messages, so it was pretty special. I'm just overwhelmed about all the support and all the love I get."
Counting down to his debut in the interstate arena, Addo-Carr easily pinpoints the most important call of his career.
"Moving to Melbourne, that's the best decision I've ever made. Hands down.
"The culture he's built and the older boys around that club, it's turned each of us into the best players we can be. I can't believe I'm in this position and if it wasn't for Craig and the boys I wouldn't be here today."
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