At the start of this month, 19-year old Rabbitohs recruit Jesse Arthars packed up his life in Melbourne and moved to Sydney. It’s a challenging move for the aspiring footy player but he’s getting a helping hand from the family of Paul Mellor as they host the young outside back.
The Mellor family understand what it takes for a young player to make it in the NRL – Paul himself debuted at 16 years of age in 1991.
Having topped the point scoring charts of the NYC in 2016, Jesse arrived at Redfern with plenty of promise. According to Rabbitohs List Manager Ben Rogers, Arthars would be in good stead with his host family, who has a history with the club.
“He’s staying with Paul Mellor’s sister Louise and her family. They understand what it takes for the boys to make the grade, and what they go through each day training wise and how to prepare food, and they’re a footy family too,” said Arthars.
With a change of scenery comes new challenges, and while it can be difficult for some, Arthars says he is relishing in the short time he has been in Sydney and becoming familiar with his new home.
“It’s been really good. The boys have been really welcoming and moving to Sydney is really exciting. I’ve never really been here before but to get to know the area has been really exciting for me,” said Arthars.
“The transition has been really good. I drove up here with my dad for preseason and I’ve settled really nicely with a family so it’s been a good spot, and the boys have been helping me out with getting around so it’s good.”
Rabbitohs list manager Ben Rogers gave plenty of praise to the young outside back, indicating that while he could still play in the under 20s systems for 2018, that he would be fast tracked to the NSW Cup to further his development.
“He’s very athletic, similar to Braidon Burns. Athleticism is his strong point and we’ll see how he goes week to week,” Ben Rogers said.
“He isn’t even 20 yet and could still play for the under 20’s next year, in his first season of NYC he was the top point scorer of the comp at 18 years of age. He’s good enough be playing NSW Cup coming into this year and that’s where we’ll play him.”