He has managed to get the job done on the field, highlighted by a spectacular end to the 2019 season with the Newtown Jets, as well as in his five appearances in the NRL so far, however Billy Magoulias has also achieved away from game day and the training paddock, the young Sharks forward recently completing a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wollongong.
A course which he began soon after graduating from Endeavour Sports High School, Magoulias has since completed his Bachelor of Business in a prime example many of today's NRL players are working just as hard off the field as they are on it.
Jeff Robson, a 177-game NRL veteran, who teams up with Amanda King to deliver the Sharks Education and Welfare program, explains his role in assisting the current playing group with their football-life balance and in their educational activities.
“Even though some are just beginning their NRL careers, our role in Welfare and Education is to prepare the boys for life after footy,” Robson began.
“Here at the Sharks we have above 90 per cent of the squad involved in career engagement, which means they are either studying, in work experience or attending TAFE.”
Guided by Robson and King the players engage in various study options, steered into areas which suit their interests, strengths and future career ambitions, with many involved in studying certificates in fitness, business and youth work, some undertaking a Cert 3 in Carpentry at TAFE, amongst a variety of other courses.
Some, such as Connor Tracey who recently completed a Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Services degree and was named in the NRL’s 2020 Academic Team of the Year, along with Magoulias and his Wollongong Uni Business course, take their studies to another level.
“I had an interest in business throughout school and when I finished at Endeavour I went straight into the course at Wollongong Uni,” Magoulias explained.
That was 2015 when he was a part of the Sharks then-Holden Cup under-20’s squad, Magoulias dedicated in his efforts to combine his training with his university timetables.
“I’d commit the first half of the day to study, then we’d do our three, four hours of training of a night,” he said of his time in the Sharks NYC team.
In 2018 Magoulias was promoted into the full-time NRL squad at the start of the season, and while the task to combine the two pursuits became more complicated, his commitment, coupled with understanding and assistance from the Club and coaching staff, allowed him to forge ahead and ultimately finish his University degree.
“I went part time with my course from 2018 and there was always some flexibility around training. I could work my weights sessions in to be able to get to the lessons, attend the tutorials at the Loftus campus and then the lectures and assessments were on-line,” Magoulias added.
Now ready to take the next step with his rugby league career, where he aims to become a regular in the Sharks NRL team in 2020, Magoulias, who is also working through a Cert 4 in Elite Athlete Wellbeing and a Cert 3 in Fitness, has ambitions to enroll in a Masters of Business Administration and is doing so with an eye to what might come somewhere down the track.
“I don’t know where footy will take me in the next few years, but I’d love to stay in the game, maybe in a management role,” Magoulias said.
“I’ve enjoyed the management type subjects and with my footy knowledge, when you mix it in with what I’ve learnt and what I’m learning, it might be something I can look at going into in the future.”