IT WASN'T that long ago that Anthony Don was playing his heart out for Grafton High in the Daily Examiner Shield.
Now the 24-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Titans NRL club.
The contract will allow Don to postpone his teaching career and train full-time with the Titans squad, starting at the end of this year.
"I trained during the pre-season with the Titans last year but it's great to get the two-year deal and be able to concentrate on it full-time," Don said.
"I still prefer playing fullback but I've been playing on the wing recently and it doesn't bother me.
"I'll fit in wherever I can get a start."
The former Grafton Ghosts fullback has been hovering around the edges of a contract for the past couple of years, but the talented, try-scoring machine hasn't wasted a second.
Don completed his teaching degree at university in Newcastle and has been back duelling it out in the classroom with the kids ever since.
After a bit of back and forth with missed calls, Don called back on Wednesday night as the Daily Examiner football was being played.
"I played a few years of DEX Shield footy. We used to love it," Don said.
"The first year I played for Grafton High opens, we got beaten by McAuley, but we won it when I was in Year 12."
Don still gets back to the Clarence Valley on a regular basis to visit his parents who live at Yamba.
His grandfather Ron Willey was a star fullback and toured with the Australian team before going on to enjoy a successful first-grade coaching career.
Unfortunately for Willey, he played in an era where the incumbent fullback in the Kangaroos team was Clive Churchill.
Like his grandfather, Don knows he might be up against it to get a start in the Titans team, particularly on the wings, any time soon.
"The Titans have some of the fastest wingers in the comp in Kevin Gordon and David Mead and even blokes like Steve Michaels are there to step into those positions," Don said.
"All I can do is train hard, do my best and make the most of this opportunity."
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