By Travis Meyn - Courtesy of The Gold Coast Bulletin
Photo: Jerad Williams
Kierran Moseley has felt the temptation many times before.
The urge to pack up, go home and give up on the fantasy he’s been dreaming of.
You see, this kid from Cloncurry — a town of just 3000 people in northwest Queensland — has done it tougher than most to get to where he is.
Moseley has made the ultimate sacrifice for a young indigenous man, leaving his tight-knit family to live with strangers in pursuit of success.
“I’m a real family-oriented person. It was hard for me to move away at the start but this is what I want to do and this is what it takes,” Moseley said.
“These are the rewards you get for digging in when it gets tough.
“When I was injured (ankle in 2013) it was hard. At the time I was thinking I’d go home. It was a pretty lonely time.
“That’s the easy option.
“No one knows what you go through, the ups and downs. They just think you’ve got a contract.
“It’d be easy to throw it away but I think about my family and everyone back home wants you to succeed.”
Moseley got a taste of what he’s been working so hard for this year when he made his NRL debut at hooker for Penrith against Manly.
It was the result of years of sacrifice.
Moseley left home when he was 15 to sleep on a bunk bed in the home of former Cowboys coach Grant Bell in Townsville for three years.
He went to renowned league nursery Kirwan State High School — where Test star Sam Thaiday evolved — and was later picked up by Penrith.
At 20, he’d finally cracked the big time and just a couple of months later he was on his way to the Gold Coast Titans in pursuit of more first-grade action.
Moseley has found comfort in the unique situations he finds himself in.
He’s living with Titans recruitment boss Jamie Mathiou and spent two years in the “Penrith House” with some of the Panthers’ emerging stars.
His mother, Janelle Major, has admitted she’s asked her son plenty of times to come home but Moseley can see the bigger picture.
“She did. She wanted me to go home,” he said. “I wanted to go home at the time as well but I had to look at the big picture.
“Getting my debut gave me something to look forward to.
“When you’re a kid training like you are and getting smashed you think ‘why am I doing it?’ but when you get that taste you think ‘this is why’.
“You want to play in the NRL but you’d never think about ever being able to do it.”
Moseley isn’t the only Titan who’s travelled the long way to the top.
Davin Crampton is a 26-year-old glazier who’s just started his first pre-season with an NRL club.
Crampton starred for the Northern Pride in their Intrust Super Cup premiership-winning season this year and is now determined to taste first grade.
He’s worked his way from being a mad fisherman in Normanton — a town of 1500 in the Gulf of Carpentaria — to Cairns and eventually Southport.
And while he is ecstatic to get this far, plenty more hard work is needed before he reaches the ultimate goal.
“At first it was terrifying because I’d never moved away from the family. I had to go out on my own,” Crampton said of his move to Cairns four years ago.
“When I made it to the Pride thoughts started to come to me to try and further my footy career.
“I realised the Pride was another level to what I’d been playing in Normanton and I had a chance.
“It’s a massive opportunity. The goal is to just focus on pre-season and hopefully next year I’ll get to make my NRL debut.
“I’d do anything to get on the big stage and have a go.”
Crampton has plenty of fans.
The young father writes “Normanton” on his wrist strapping before games, and country politician Bob Katter sent out a press release congratulating him for his Titans contract.
Crampton hasn’t cracked the NRL yet but he’s hopeful his journey inspires others to follow their dreams.