It has been a big year on the football field for Zack Hosking, as the 18-year-old has made the transition from the local Newcastle competition to the NYC.
Now he has been rewarded for his work off the field as well, with the former Central Charlestown first grader being awarded the TAFE Student of the Month.
Hosking has been excelling in the second year of his carpentry apprenticeship at Team Dreegan, balancing it alongside a demanding football season in which he has played 20 games.
"It is tough, working 40 hours a week and then training," Hosking told Knights TV.
"But I'm not the only one that does it, and my boss is really good in letting me have days off when I have to travel with the team."
Alongside working and playing, Hosking is studying for a Certificate III in Carpentry at Hunter TAFE.
"It's about finding a balance between working and training," Hosking explained.
"It's difficult to start off with, but you do get used to it."
While the back rower is striving to become an NRL player, he also wants to one day own his own carpentry business.
"I'd like to work for myself some day," Hosking explained.
"You're not guaranteed a future with footy, and you always need something to fall back on if your dream doesn't work out.
"I'd want to do something that I enjoy rather than something just for money or to pass the time."