Western Rams enforcer Bill Statham has pointed towards fellow country rugby league talent Isaah Yeo as his inspiration over the past few months of SG Ball training.
Cowra junior Statham was playing a tough balancing act between his HSC and rugby league training with the Penrith Panthers and spoke about the challenge during a recent interview with his club.
The talented junior would always turn up to his training positive and raring to go, even with an accumulated 20 hours of travel time for his practice sessions.
Statham would often find himself resuming his studies around 10.30pm on night's after returning home from training, and pushing past midnight in those sessions before going to school the following day.
Statham said he looks at the sacrifices that Dubbo junior Yeo had to make during his rise through the ranks and he uses that as motivation when he works with the Panthers.
"I know Isaah Yeo has a really strong work ethic... I really look up to that," he told the Panthers' official website.
"Knowing that he's a country kid and is now successful drives me to put in those extra hours of travel.
"Some days I would have to miss training because my exams overlapped and it was really difficult.
"But I know this is where I want to be, and I'm really focused on that final result of hopefully making the team and being recognised for my efforts."
St John's and Dubbo CYMS product Yeo has been a pivotal part of the Panthers' identity over the past seven years, notching up 173 appearances and helping the club win the 2021 NRL premiership.
Statham is hoping to study policing at Western Sydney University alongside his football career.
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