As he strived to crack the NRL, Josh Mansour balanced his footy commitments with a carpentry apprenticeship.
The veteran Rabbitohs winger completed his qualification in 2011, a year before his first-grade career took off with the Panthers.
As part of the partnership with Coates, the official hire partner of the NRL, Mansour reflected on his "hectic" early days on the tools.
"When I was playing under 20s at Souths, I was juggling studying my carpentry course, obviously playing footy and working at the same time," the 31-year-old told NRL.com.
"I had my hands quite full, but I was fortunate enough to complete that study. I got my certificate in carpentry and joinery.
'"It was pretty hectic. I was waking up at 5.30 in the morning. I was on the job site at seven. I drove my boss mad because with rugby league, it's not a steady schedule. Sometimes I had to leave work early.
The Coates experience
"But [my boss] was awesome in that regard. I don't regret it at all. It really helped set me up for after footy [and] that's really important, especially in the modern day.
"I finished around 3.30 [in the afternoon] normally and I'd just shoot over to training. We'd start at 4.30 and I'd get home around eight.
"I'd like to think I was a hard worker. There was nothing real cruisy about it. It's pretty labour-intensive, carpentry and joinery. The best thing about carpentry was I was able to do different things."
I drove my boss mad because with rugby league, it's not a steady scheduleNRL veteran Josh Mansour on his early days
He recalled a time when work almost made him and under 20s teammate Josh Starling - who went on to play first-grade for the Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles and Knights - late for a match.
"One day we were going to Penrith, we were playing Penrith on Friday night," Mansour said.
"We were on the M4 and we got stuck in traffic. We literally just got there while the boys were warming up on the field. Good thing we won that night, but I remember the stress we had on the highway!"
Mansour, who is now enrolled in a Certificate IV in Building and Construction and has recently launched a renovation business, is far from the only footballer with trade experience.
Dean Britt, Reuben Garrick, Mitch Barnett, Kaide Ellis, David Hollis and Victor Radley are also studying or have completed a course.