Dyldam Parramatta Eels forward Daniel Alvaro found out the news on Tuesday morning that he would be making his NRL debut in three days time against the Penrith Panthers, a day after celebrating his twenty second birthday.
The 190cm, 108kg forward known as 'Polar' for his blonde hair, has been named on the bench in the Eels Round 12 side, benefiting from injuries that have plagued the Blue and Gold squad that currently faces 11 players unavailable for selection this week.
However Head Coach Brad Arthur says the forward deserves the opportunity after his persistance and professionalism.
“He’s a good kid, he won our ‘best trainer’ in the pre-season, which is voted for by the players, and he’s popular within the group,’’ Arthur told the Daily Telegraph.
“He’s a quiet kid, he comes and trains his best, he treats the elder players with respect, and he sets a good example for the younger boys at the club, and that if you work hard, you’ll get your chance. His chance has come a bit earlier than expected, but we do have a few injuries in our front-row.’’
Alvaro played his junior rugby league with the Mittagong Lions however as a young 15 year old, was signed to the Brisbane Broncos and played in their NYC side.
However in 2013, Alvaro signed with the Eels, playing the year in the Holden Cup before featuring heavily in the Wentworthville Magpies NSW Cup side in 2014 and 2015 before his call up to first grade.
“Dan has been playing very well all year and he is a great kid and everybody is excited to see how he will go,” Eels Assistant Coach Pete Gentle said of Alvaro.
“Great reward for effort for Daniel. He brings plenty of enthusiasm, he has been working really hard over the last couple of years at the club and he deserves an opportunity at this level,” Eels Assistant Coach Steve Murphy agreed.
“You want your guys in your system to come through, and that’s what we have with Daniel and it is a great reward for him.”
Off the field, Alvaro has juggled studying a Bachelor of Business and Commerce at the University of Western Sydney over the past three years along with his football commitments.