Before his career kicked off at the Newcastle Knights, Billy Peden was told by Craig Bellamy he wasn't what he was looking for after the Cessnock backrower unsuccessfully trialed for a reserve grade contract at the Canberra Raiders.
But rather than throw in the towel and give up on his dream of playing rugby league at the top level, Peden dug a little deeper and worked even harder on his game to make it happen.
He was 24 before he finally got his shot and nine seasons later, when he finished up with the Knights, he'd played 190 first grade games, won three premierships and had earned legend status.
For any aspiring young player out there striving to make the big time, you could do no better than have this Cessnock favourite son as your role model.
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Episode 21 of Toohey's News will publish next week.