Firefighter by day, NRL Bunker by night – that is the interesting life of Bryan Norrie these days.
One of the nicest guys to ever pull on the purple jersey, Norrie has made a smooth adjustment to life after his 11-year NRL career came to an end in 2014.
He initially took up role at the Cronulla Sharks as part of their education and welfare team and after five months later he was given an opportunity to join the NRL in a similar role.
Then on the eve of the 2016 season the NRL introduced ‘The Bunker’ with Norrie was given a part-time position in there as an official during games.
It is certainly a different perspective on the game but one the former prop thoroughly enjoys.
“I love it,” Norrie said.
“There is plenty of pressure in there, sometimes you get more nervous in there than you did playing a footy game.
“I really enjoy it though, it keeps me around footy and let’s me watch footy as well which is always a bonus.”
When he is not looking at 10 cameras to decide on a try, Norrie is in uniform as a firefighter for Fire & Rescue NSW.
After years of trying his hand at the application process the 33-year-old was finally accepting into the training college during April of 2016.
Once he had completed the 13-week training course Norrie was then assigned to a station, completing a goal he had set for himself even before retirement had come calling.
“I always wanted to get into the fireys but it is so hard to get into, it is one of the most sort after jobs,” Norrie said.
“Even when I was at Storm I used to go through the application process every year to try and get more of an understanding of what you need to do to get in.
“I managed to get through and I couldn’t be happier. You get to help the community, you get to stay fit and every day is different.”
“Leaving footy you miss the comradery, the team environment and working together… you can never replace what it is like to muck around in the training sheds and having fun with all the boys.
“But I’ve got a good crew and the fireys, having a bit of fun and you are working together in those situations that arise, having each other’s back and I really enjoy that.”
Born in Forbes, a small country town in regional NSW, Norrie learned early on from his father how important it was to set yourself up for the future.
That lesson drove him throughout his rugby league career to ensure he had something to fall back on when it all came to an end.
While he admits the transition after retirement was a difficult one, as it is for all players, he counts himself extremely lucky to be in the position he currently finds himself in.
He also still feels a special connection to Storm, a Club where he played 120 of his 180 career games, including the 2012 premiership.
“It is a special Club, I still speak to a lot of the players and have a lot of respect for the coaching staff down there,” Norrie said.
“They are great mates before anything else. They are a great Club, great culture and I always love trying to get down there.
“Hopefully I can get down there for the Old Boys weekend this year and have a couple of beers with everyone.”