If you’re trying to find a more determined young player than Josh King, you’re going to be hard pressed to do so.
The qualified electrician turned workhorse forward will notch his 50th NRL appearance this weekend, with all of those games played in the nib Newcastle Knights jumper.
With the road to his first milestone being less than an easy one, the 24-year-old said he’s just happy to be crossing the mark at all.
“You definitely don’t think about it when you first starting out,” King said.
“Obviously every player has dreams to play as many games as they can and before you can reach the big ones you’ve got to go through 50.
“It’s definitely a big milestone for me.”
The Singleton native’s passage into the NRL didn’t exactly go to script, with King being called into the full-time squad while he was still completing an electrical apprenticeship.
Not to mention the Knights were in the midst of a re-building era, with an inexperienced side slumping to their second straight wooden spoon when he debuted in 2016.
“Looking back now, reaching 50 games, I probably haven’t earnt to play 50 games, but it was just more the position we were in as a club,” he said.
“We didn’t really have many other players who could come in and play, so I was very lucky in that sense that I was able to play a few games before I was actually ready to be playing first grade.
“As disappointing as some of those games were, we were building, we were just a lot of young guys learning so like I said, I’m proud to have played this many.”
No matter his form, King’s commitment to the Club has never been in question, with the Singleton Greyhounds junior commuting a two-hour round-trip just to get to training from his day job in the mines.
“I had started my apprenticeship before I went full time with footy, so it was something I was passionate about,” King said.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of talk around footy not lasting forever, at any time it can sort of come to end depending on injuries.
“It was definitely something I was passionate about getting finished.”
With his first major milestone fast approaching this weekend, King has no doubts about who should take credit for his success.
“Every day the coaches were good about me showing up late, and bosses were good with me leaving early, and every day I’d come home every night to a home cooked meal from mum with my clothes washed, so I really can’t complain,” he said.
“I’ve come a long way since then and I just feel proud and privileged to play 50 games for the Knights.”