Alvaro's blueprint for success
Parramatta Eels forward Daniel Alvaro is worried he will lose his front-rower's union membership.
Along with fellow prop and club captain Tim Mannah, Alvaro is breaking the stereotype of forwards being 'all brawn and no brain' as he continues to excel in his studies at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Alvaro's progress in his Bachelor of Construction Project Management Degree has been so impressive that he was awarded a University Blue by UTS to recognise the level of excellence he has achieved in both his sporting endeavours and his undergraduate studies.
Historically, a University Blue is the highest honour a University can award a student who is also an elite athlete.
Alvaro modestly tried to downplay his achievement by recognising the support of both the University and the game in helping him manage the dual commitment.
"UTS have been great in providing me support through both their Elite Athlete program and the tutoring provided by the NRL's Graduates of League Program," he said.
"Rachael Simmons has been great in assisting me with support in managing my timetable and assessment schedules so they fit in with my training and playing commitments.
"The club has also supported me in working with UTS as well as assisting me apply for funding made available through the players association and the NRL," he continued.
"At Parra we are continually encouraged to have two 'Plan As' which is why we have so many players currently enrolled in courses."
Alvaro is a product of the National Youth Competition having commenced his NRL journey at the Broncos before returning to his home town of Mittagong where he progressed from the NYC ranks at the Eels to achieve his dream of an NRL contract.
"The good thing about the NYC competition was that it taught you the importance of having a balance in your life and not to put all your eggs in one basket," Alvaro commented.
Another advantage of his time playing in the NYC was the relationships he developed which have allowed him to undertake work experience in the construction industry with Frasers Property who are constructing a new manufacturing facility for Fantastic Holdings.
"I have previously worked at Fantastic Furniture during my time in the NYC competition and they have always supported me both on and off the field; especially Jason Newman the CEO of manufacturing," Alvaro said.
"I can't thank him enough for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this project and all the support he has given me over the last few years.
"I'm so grateful to Jason for involving me in this project and for allowing the flexibility to work around my football commitments.
"Working both on-site with Frasers and in the factory with Fantastic has allowed me to gain a much better understanding of the things I'm studying at university and the chance to see how they are applied in the industry."
Alvaro has also taken on a mentoring role of his own.
His passion for this area saw him accept the position of Education Ambassador for the Eels.
His involvement includes delivering career presentations and social responsibility workshops to junior players progressing through the ranks.
"I can understand these kids' dreams," he said.
"But I can also understand the importance of them developing as a person and making some good decisions off the field.
"When we deliver these workshops we try to link off-field success to on-field success.
"I know that I am more than a rugby league player.
"I also know how having sometime positive in my life away from the game actually helps me to still enjoy the game as a sport as well as a professional career," he concluded.
After playing for the recent Country Origin side, Alvaro has ambitions to play further representative football with the NSW Blues being his ultimate goal.
Daniel is giving himself every chance of success.
He already has his own blueprint for success – on and off the field.