ON WEDNESDAY he was working as a diesel mechanic in the family business.
On Sunday he will live out his childhood dream by making his NRL debut for the Knights against premiers Cronulla at McDonald Jones Stadium.
DEBUT: Tyrone Amey
Meet Tyrone Amey, the 21-year-old prop from Dora Creek who will become the 288th man to representNewcastle in top-grade rugby league –just four months after he was playing for Maitland Pickers at Telarah’s Coronation Oval.
After progressing through Newcastle’s system from under-16s, to under-18s (as captain), to under-20s, Amey was offered a chance to train with the part-time NSW Cup squad at the end of last year.
But recovery from major groin surgery meant he was unable to run for much of the pre-season and spent the early rounds of this year on the reserve-grade bench.
But as he showed on Wednesday when he put in a shift repairing heavy vehicles atHogans Heavy Haulage, in Rutherford, Amey has never been afraid to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in.
Just ask Newcastle’s NSW Cup coach, Simon Woolford.
“Tyrone’s one of those guys that works really hard,’’ Woolford told the Newcastle Herald. “He’s not the biggest bloke for a front-rower or the most gifted player, skills-wise, but in terms of work ethic and doing the little things that go unnoticed, that’s what Tyrone adds to the team.
“He didn’t make the side for the first two or three rounds, but then we got some injuries, gave him a start, and he’s been pretty much the first picked every week.
“He’s been a mainstay in the team ever since, and now he gets his chance in first grade and it’s obviously a dream come to true for him.”
Woolford was confident Amey, who has been named on Newcastle’s bench rotation, would not be overawed playing against Cronulla’s all-star pack.
“He certainly doesn’t lack any ticker and he’ll stand up to the best of them,’’ he said.
Asked if Amey had the potential to become a first-grade regular, Woolford replied:“I guess it depends on Tyrone and how he keeps developing and learning.
“But he’ll certainly give it a fair crack. He won’t die wondering, that’s for sure.”
Amey earned his call-up after injuries to senior props Daniel Saifiti, Josh Starling, Jack Stockwell, Anthony Tupou andPauli Pauli, and the mid-season retirement of Sam Mata’ora.
His absence this week will leave Woolford’s team without their pack leader for Sunday’s do-or-die semi-final against North Sydney.
Maitland coach Trevor Ott, who also coached Amey in Newcastle’s under-18s, told theHeraldhe“led from the front” that season with a“tough and uncompromising” playing style.
The other new name in Newcastle’s 21-man squad is towering 19-year-oldPasami Saulo.A 2016 Australian Schoolboys representative, Saulo is regarded as one of Newcastle’s brightest young prospects.