JETS chief executive Lawrie McKinna has never known a player to request leave during pre-season training to cut a record in the US.
Then again, McKinna has never come across a player like Joey Champness.
The Jets flyer and aspiring rapper left Newcastle on Monday for Los Angeles where he will spend a month meeting and working with record labels. As well as develop his music, Champness, who raps under the name JOWIC (pronounced Joey-cee), will follow a training program that includes weekly reports back to the Jets.
Champness, who is contracted to the Jets for another two years, spent time during the off-season in LA.
"A label has come back to him and said they want him to go back and cut some records," McKinna said. "A lot of boys dream about being a footballer, and Joey does, but he also dreams about being a rapper. For something that is right outside the box, for me it is a no-brainer that you give the boy your best wishes. There are millions of people with the same dream. Because he is a tall good looking boy who plays football, he is a bit unique."
Champness' debut track, Wet Floor, was released in 2017 and he has been slowly building his reputation and play list.
"It's the kind of chance which you don't get every day in music and I know I'd regret it if I didn't chase it," Champness said in a statement. "Chris Smith (conditioning coach] has given me a training plan so I'll be keeping fit and be sure I'm ready to come back into the squad once I'm back in Australia."
Champness, 22, made just nine appearances last season after breaking his foot in the pre-season.
"We missed him last year," McKinna said. "We missed that pace and X-factor. He has a big year ahead of him in football. Because it is right at the beginning of the pre-season - this week is just testing - I don't think it is much of an issue to give him that chance live one of his dreams. He will be back a week before the FFA Cup, but it's unlikely he will play. It's not ideal but it's one of these ones: do you deny the boy a chance that he might never get again."