AFTER two years plodding along in the lower grades, Darcy Lussick knew it was time he realised his potential.
Darcy Lussick, who has been given a spot in Manly's top 25 for 2010. Picture: VIRGINIA YOUNG.
If he didn’t step up, an economics degree at Newcastle University awaited.
So the Beacon Hill Bears junior, in his own words, “pulled his finger out”.
The second-rower was one of Manly’s best in the Toyota Cup this year, his bullocking runs a feature in the team taking out the minor premiership.
Now Lussick has been rewarded with a spot in Des Hasler’s top 25-man NRL squad for 2010, and aims to play “at least” four or five games.
“I was lucky enough to play in a very good (Toyota Cup) team this year, that helped my cause,” the 20-year-old said yesterday.
“I finished school back in 2006 and got into uni but I figured that could wait.
“It was up to me to play consistent footy, and I would like to think I did.”
Lussick will be joined by William Hopoate, Daly Cherry-Evans and skipper Jamie Buhrer in the full-time squad (not the 25) and believes that will make the transition process a little easier.
“We have been playing together for a few years now, and are mates away from footy,” Lussick, whose father Jason played three games for the Eagles in 1998-99, said.
“That will definitely help, it is a big step up so it will be good doing it as a group.
“It’s going to be intense training fulltime at that level, but I am looking forward to it.”
His under 20s coach David Penna has no doubt the rangy backrower will adjust to the task.
“Darcy has been with the club for a few years now and each season has got better,” he said. “The coaching staff challenged him to keep improving and to his credit, he went away and came back a more dynamic player.”
The Italian national coach also believes Lussick’s defence is his biggest selling point.
“He is very sound in this area and with backrowers tending to mature later these days, he is in a very good position,” Penna said.
“I look forward to seeing how he goes and if he gets a run I am sure he won’t let anyone down.”