NSW VB Blues coach Laurie Daley made a special appearance at the NSWRL’s Semi-Pro Day last Sunday as he addressed 250 NSW Cup players at Rugby League Central.

Aimed at assisting in both personal and professional development, Semi-Pro Day is designed to recognise, educate and celebrate the players who compete in the NSW Cup, the premier pathway into the NRL.

Former first graders Liam Fulton and Dean Widders were also among many presenters, educating players on mental health, concussion and theatre sports - an engaging program that places players in real life scenarios.

NSWRL Welfare and Education Officer, Greg Nichols, who formerly represented North Sydney in the NSW Cup, believes Semi-Pro Day will provide players with an invaluable life lesson.

“These programs are designed to acknowledge the efforts of our players and to help grow and develop their potential in every aspect of their lives,” Nichols said.

“Semi-Pro Day allows players to receive unique access and support and we want them to realise that they’re not alone in their quest to become NRL players.

“It’s such a tough pathway to make it to the NRL and most guys in their position have full-time jobs, heavy training loads and also have to deal with the off-field responsibilities of everyday life.”

The players were treated to a visit from Hugh Van Cuylenburg, Founding Director of The Resilience Project. The project provided players with evidence-based practical strategies to build resilience.

Van Cuylenburg is highly regarding within the NRL, having worked with a number of clubs.