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To appreciate the determination that drives Adam Clydsdale, all you need to do is talk about his right ankle.

On the outside it's just a normal ankle, the bony and unattractive joint that connects the foot with the leg.   

But dig a little deeper and Clydsdale reveals how his vital body part is a constant source of inspiration and motivation.         

A permanent reminder of the time in 2011, when he dislocated his ankle and broke his leg playing for his hometown club the Scone Thoroughbreds in a Group 21 first-grade major semi-final.

Clydsdale was just 18 at the time and coming off a highly successful season where he won a premiership with the Club's SG Ball side. 

He was a potential superstar in the making and a kid tipped by many as the logical choice to replace Club legend Danny Buderus when 'Bedsy' finally hung up the boots.     

Life was good. 

Then crack, Clydsdale was left shattered by the news that his ankle and leg injuries could potentially sideline him for at least six months.    

"I was devastated," Clydsdale recalls with a shake of the head.     

"I was looking forward to playing for Scone with my brother Luke for the first time. It was going to be the biggest highlight of my life really.

"Then to hurt myself in the major semi was torture.

"We were having a real good year and then I hurt myself just two weeks before the grand final.

"So I had to sit there watching the grand final. We had all three grades at home and we lost all three grades.

"It was a tough day, heartbreaking really."   

Clydsdale spent the first three months of his long and arduous recovery process back home in Scone.

With the help of his mother Jan, the emerging Knight stayed positive and focused on the long road back.

He also showed plenty of initiative, regularly contacting the Knights' medical staff about the best techniques and procedures moving forward.          

It was at this point, when he was faced with the harsh reality of the hard work ahead, that Clydsdale realised he had to move back to Newcastle to complete his rehabilitation.     

"I remember I came back and NYC coach Mick Crawley said to me I had my highest ever skin folds," he says.

"I’d also lost a bit of speed and lost a lot of range in my ankle, which I still don’t have.

"I could have gone back home to Scone and given up." 

Fuelled by self-doubt and legitimate fear his career could be over, it would have been easy for Clydsdale to quit.

But the kid from the Upper Hunter Valley town of Scone is made of sterner stuff.

And on the back of his sheer drive and devoted support from his loved ones, Clydsdale fought hard to overcome his injury.  

"Mum never pushed me, but she was always there to help me whenever I needed it and that helped me get through," he says. 

"She helped me with everything in recovery and I wouldn't have done it without her. 

"Even when I was younger and playing in the junior reps, she used to drive me down here three times a week for training.

"My dad Jeff was the same and loves the footy and he is always down watching my games in the NRL." 

Move forward two years and Clydsdale's work ethic to beat his ankle and leg injuries has paid the ultimate dividend. 

Now firmly entrenched in the Knights' top grade squad, he has proven his worth as a more than capable back up to skipper Kurt Gidley at hooker.      

It's a rise that backs up the long-term belief that Clydsdale always had the ability to become a first-grade regular.  

"I've definitely come a long way from those injuries," reflects Clydsdale, who was named the Knights' under-20s Player of the Year and Players' Player just a year after suffering his serious leg injury. 

"I was injury free all my first year in the 20s and played every game, but then my last year I had a few minor injuries.

"But I got to debut in the NRL last year, which is good.

"Now this year to have a real good crack at it and be injury free is great.

"I owe it all to having a good, close family.

"My mum, dad, brother and sister are all close and it’s all about having that support."  

There's no questioning Clydsdale wouldn't be where he is today without his family. 

From his mum's care through to his siblings constant phone calls, the Scone lad is much loved.     

Then there are his family genes, a gift best represented through his grandfather ‘Brandy’ Adams, who toured with the Kangaroos in 1956-57 and also represented NSW and Country on countless occasions. 

Talk to Clydsdale and it's a real buzz to have a pop held in such high regard by the local rugby league community. 

"I supposed you sort of take it for granted, especially because he played so long ago," he says.

"But it’s just wonderful having him around and he tells all his stories.

“You see random people now and they’ll tell you how good pop was.

“It sort of gives you goose bumps knowing that people still know him.

“He still loves his footy and gets about the local footy and watches a lot of my games, so I'm grateful for that." 

When it comes to appreciation, Clysdale never has to search far for perspective. 

In fact, he only has to look at his right ankle to realise how lucky he is to be playing in the NRL.     

"It’s still half the range of my other ankle, so I have to do a bit of work on it," he explains.

"I’m not sure if the range will ever come back, so I just focus on other things I can control and improve like my defence." 

And being happy, because Clydsdale knows he quite easily could be back home in Scone playing local footy and working as a tradie if it wasn't for his determination to never give up.