The newest player in the Te Atatu Roosters rugby league team is hoping to pass on some life experience to the next generation.
Jason Williams' time in the National Rugby League competition in Australia was overshadowed by a conflict with a teammate while he was playing for the Cronulla Sharks in 2004. The 30-year-old was subsequently released by the club.
Williams went on to play for the Canberra Raiders but the incident eventually stalled dhis professional career.
''After that no club really wanted to go near me,'' he says.
''I have always been a friendly guy but it is just that one time and if you isolate the incident it does stick.''
Williams toiled around in the Queensland Cup, a lower grade competition in Australia, before returning to Te Atatu where he grew up.
He decided to attend training night this year at the Roosters where he met new premier coach Paul Davys, who says he wanted to be sure Williams wasn't looking to waltz into the premier team.
''I left him to train with one of our lower grade sides and to his credit he did it without any complaints,'' he says.
Williams says his goal is to help mentor the club's young talent like Vinny Ezekielu and Thomas Ah Van.
''Obviously I want to help Te Atatu win games but my main focus is to help these young guys out.
''A key message for them if they want to play in the NRL is don't put a foot wrong.''
It is something Davys says he is happy to hear.
''That is what we are trying to do here at the club and Jason fits into that plan,'' he says.
''He is a people person and has a good way with the other players.
''He has also been down a path where he can put his hand up and admit that he stuffed up.''
Te Atatu Roosters take on the Glenora Bears at Jack Colvin Park at 2.30pm tomorrow.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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