Bobby Roberts has always dreamed of becoming a firefighter.
It's why he couldn't commit to football last year. And it's why he'll put work first if they come calling.
But nonetheless Roberts is back in a West Belconnen Warriors jersey.
And he planned to help them back to the Canberra Raiders Cup premiership if he can.
If that also ended with another Les McIntyre Medal as the league's best and fairest then that would be the cherry on top. Like he and they did back in 2016.
But first things first.
Roberts and the Warriors will take on the Belconnen United Sharks in the Belco derby at Kippax on Sunday.
The Warriors were undefeated - but had the bye in the second round, which, combined with Easter, meant they haven't played in three weeks. Talk about a momentum killer.
The Sharks come in off the back of a win and a loss and Roberts was expecting a tough encounter against a physical Sharks forwards pack.
Roberts has been all over the place in recent years.
He played for the Young Cherrypickers while he was out west to visit his grandfather on the weekends in 2017.
Then he was back with the Warriors before COVID-19 struck and West Belconnen opted out of playing in 2020.
So instead he pulled on the boots for rugby union club Canberra Royals in the John I Dent Cup.
Then last year he was focused on getting accepted into the firies.
It's something he's always been drawn to - being able to help the community in its time of need.
"The dream had always been to be a firey ... when the club hit me up to play again this year I told them work's my main priority and they're happy to work around that," Roberts said.
"If I have to miss a game or something for work that's how it is.
"I absolutely love it. It's the best job in the world. I've known I've wanted to be a firefighter for many a year so just dedicating the time and effort to get there.
"And now I've got through you're just constantly learning. I love it."
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Roberts hoped to use his time in union to improve himself as a rugby league half.
He wanted to sit deeper to get a better feel for the game and pick and choose his moments to engage opposition defensive lines better.
The kicking game in the two codes are also slightly different, plus bringing a different style of game management to the fold.
"I learnt a few new things and I was keen to see how the things I learnt in union would transform over to league," Roberts said.
"It's a different sport, but very similar at the same time. It was a good experience to do that."
CANBERRA RAIDERS CUP ROUND THREE
Saturday: Woden Valley Rams v Tuggeranong Bushrangers at Phillip, 3pm; Gungahlin Bulls v Queanbeyan Blues at Gungahlin, 3pm.
Sunday: Goulburn Bulldogs v Yass Magpies at Goulburn, 3pm; West Belconnen Warriors v Belconnen United Sharks at Kippax, 5pm.
Covering the Raiders, Cavalry, cycling and racing, plus everything else that involves sport in the ACT, for The Canberra Times. Basically I love sport and watching it is a full-time job. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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