Wigan Warriors star Liam Marshall is now reaping the rewards of hard work and dedication.
The winger made his 100th appearance for the club in Wigan’s victory over Toulouse Olympique on Saturday night and was recently called-up to Shaun Wane’s 30-man England training squad.
But, it could have been a whole lot different for Marshall, who nearly followed a completely different path to the one he is now on.
“Early on when I finished at the academy at Wigan and I was training part time, I was also working in an accountants office,” Marshall told Wigan Today.
“My head wasn’t really at it, to the point where I nearly finished playing rugby.
“It had a knock on effect on my physical side where I wasn’t training as hard or pushing myself.
“I was lucky enough to have a good season at Swinton on dual-registration, and then got given a shot in the first team, so I managed to flip my mindset to give it a good crack as a full time job- which was something I had never seen it as.
“Things could’ve panned out a lot different. When I look back at what I was like then, I have a giggle to myself and think I was not in the right place. Matty (Peet) helped, and John Winder fought my corner a lot of times, so I owe a lot to them.
“To get to where I am now is good. Shaun has said he is happy he got it wrong with me at the first instance. I’ve never set out to prove anyone wrong, I just had a tough time playing rugby, but when I got that chance I wanted to give it a good crack.”
Despite being just 25 with a big future ahead of him in rugby league, Marshall revealed that he would like to get back into accounting once his career has finished.
“My maths is alright, I was decent at it at school and I did accounting at A-level,” he added.
“After my last year in the academy, I got an apprenticeship working in an office over in Preston.
“I’ve restarted my qualification, and I’m in my second year now. It’s going well, but is just something to fall back on when my career eventually finishes.
“Not many rugby players are accountants, but I’m alright with my numbers so thought it would be a decent path to go down.
“In 15 years time it could be me you are going to for a bit of financial advice. If you need any help, I’ll be available, just give me a call. The lads I play with now are my friends but can be my clients in the future.
“As I get a bit older I’ll make sure to save everyone’s number in my phone, so then I will be pestering them to use me for their books and stuff.”