Sandor Earl will play his first professional rugby league game in five years – and his first in a Storm jersey – in the club’s pre-season hit-out against the Warriors in Geelong tomorrow night.
During a lengthy NRL suspension handed down in 2013, the 29-year-old never lost sight of his dream to return to professional rugby league.
The former Canberra winger was set to make his long-awaited return to first-grade for the Storm last season before a heartbreaking ACL injury halted his comeback.
“It has been a long time coming,” Earl said when he fronted the media today.
“This year I’ve done a full preseason… it was the toughest I’ve ever done and I’m feeling prepared.
“I know my role and I know what I want to do for the team and I’m keen to get out there and execute.
“Last year was definitely a disappointment – in 2017 I put so much hard work in.
“It is a credit to the club that I’m here with another opportunity to play first grade and I’m just so grateful.”
Earl said unwavering support from the club and his teammates had motivated him during his recovery and would continue to fuel him through the season.
“I’m using that as fuel – everything the club has done for me, all the staff and all the players who are now my mates,” he said.
“(To repay the club) is my main motivation.
“(This comeback) is not as much about me as it might have been a year ago – everything you will see this year is a byproduct of the support I’ve had from fans, family and friends.
“My job is not about the tries or the flashy plays, I’ve got a very simple role.
“I’m fit and I’m ready so I’m just going to go out there and do my job for the team.”