FOR Rory Kostjasyn, spending two hours in transit each day is but a minor inconvenience.
PROVEN: Rory Kostjasyn
Few players, after all, have had to follow a longer road to realise theirdream of playing for the Newcastle Knights.
ABerkeley Vale Panthers product, Kostjasyn could not crack a start in Newcastle’s junior system, eventually breaking intoSydney Roosters’ Jersey Flegg team.
From there, he spent three years in Melbourne (2010-12) and four in Townsville (2013-16), racking up 126 NRL appearances and featuring in two premiership-winning squads.
Now the 29-year-old utility faces a contrasting challenge as a senior player striving to help the back-to-back wooden spooners climb the ladder and regain credibility.
“The environment is quite different,’’ he admitted.“The average age at this club is a lot younger than the last two clubs I’ve been at.
“Those clubs had players who are some of the best of all time.
“So that’s a little bit different, but all we can do is concentrate on improving our game every day, not only as individuals butas a club.’’
Kostjasyn has had no second thoughts about knocking back premiers Cronulla to sign a two-year deal with Newcastle.
“Any time you’re changing clubs, it’s a tough decision,’’ he said.
“I didn’t really look too much at what either club had done prior to 2017. I wasn’t too worried about that.
“I just looked at what was best for myselfand my partner going forward, and for us, moving a bit closer to home, after a long time away, was pretty appealing.
“Since I was a kid, I would have loved to play for Newcastle.
“I’ve got that opportunity now and hopefully I can make the most of it.’’
After his first five weeks of pre-season training with the Knights, Kostjasyn said he was “as settled as I can be’’ but was looking forward to finding a home in Newcastle, rather than commuting from the Central Coast each day.
“Once I’m at training, I’m sweet,’’ he said.
“The hourly drive each way isn’t ideal, but it won’t be for too long.’’