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Hard-working forward Bradie Smith added another string to his bow when he was announced as the 2015 Knights’ Hunter TAFE Student of The Year on Friday.

Aside from his rugby league aspirations, Smith owns and operates his own company, Bradie Smith Carpentry, where he works five days a week in addition to attending Hunter TAFE.

Smith studied a Certificate III in Carpentry whilst working and is currently completing a Clerk of Works, a builder’s course he attends two nights a week.

Earlier this year Smith was named National Youth Competition Trade Player of the Year and the National Rugby League Apprentice of the Year.

“This is the academic trifecta for Bradie, after winning the RLPA and NRL’s award for off-field excellence, he is now awarded the Knights best player student,” CEO Matt Gidley said.

“This year Bradie has completed his Certificate III in carpentry, set up his own business while balancing his football commitments.”

Hunter TAFE Institute Director, Christine Warrington, said Smith’s accolades are a wonderful endorsement of the institution’s formal partnership with the Knights.

“Since 2013, Hunter TAFE has been designing customised programs to meet the needs of the professional athlete’s on-field demands while providing skills to advance off-field career opportunities,” Ms Warrington said.

The announcement of Smith’s award comes as the latest participants in the NRL Playwise program “graduated”. Playwise is an initiative between Hunter TAFE, Newcastle Knights’ and the NRL that supports the code’s goal of turning talented boys into men of character and integrity.

Now in its second year, the program delivers critical and professional life skills to new recruits and aims to facilitate pathways to further work and study opportunities. All NYC players are encouraged to study as they develop their football careers.

There is no better role model for the new recruits than Smith, who says football is a hobby and passion.

“I know in the back of my head that I need to be studying and that’s the main thing that drives me,” Smith said.

Gidley said the Playwise program is part of the Under 20s squad O Week activities and is about ensuing players are welll informed and prepared as they commence their Rugby League career at the Newcastle Knights.

“O Week is a comprehensive and well-rounded introduction to the world of rugby league and the Club’s expectations on how they present themselves on and off the field,” he said.

The 17 NYC recruits who completed the Playwise program are: Nic Meaney (North Coast), Matt Sopher Lawler (Maitland), Matt Ghazaway (Central Coast), Matt Faitotoa (NZ), Jack Cogger (Central Coast), Jordan Pinnock (NZ), Jayden Butterfield (Maitland), Viko Puliuvea (Newcastle), Jamayne Taunoa-Brown (NZ), Sam Stone (Lakes), Mitch Casson (Central Coast), Soane Hufanga (NZ), Kainoa Gudeon (Perth), Cameron King (Parramatta), Tommy Sau (Queensland), Eddy Tuilotolava (Melbourne), Tom Starling (Central Coast).