THE next few months shape as make or break for Ballina rugby league junior Damian Sironen as he attempts to earn a contract with the Gold Coast Titans.
Sironen was back home yesterday as the Titans began a four-day training camp in Ballina.
The 22-year-old is built in a similar mould to his uncle and Balmain Tigers front-row legend Paul Sironen.
"Just yesterday I was told I'll get to stay on with the squad all the way through the trials in the pre-season," Sironen said.
"This is the best opportunity for me to show that I can mix it with the big boys.
"I'd really love to be the next guy from Ballina to make the NRL."
Sironen was joined by Ballina junior Caleb Binge and James Roberts before the rest of the squad arrived for training at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, yesterday.
Binge made his NRL debut this year along with former Alstonville High School student and Marist Brothers junior Paul Carter.
Carter was sacked by the club on Monday after his second drink-driving offence in six months.
It has been a journey for Sironen since he last played first grade for Ballina in 2010.
He spent two years in Melbourne playing under-20s with the Storm before a stint with Easts in Brisbane and now finds himself playing Intrust Super Cup with the Tweed Seagulls.
"My parents still live in Lennox Head and I'm happy being a lot closer to home," Sironen said.
"I've played with a lot of the Titans guys at Tweed and it's always good to brush shoulders with the quality players.
"If I could get a second-tier contract next year I'd be over the moon with that, but an NRL debut would be awesome."
If all else fails, Sironen should have plenty of options.
He is in his second year of a carpentry apprenticeship and studies a Bachelor of Construction Management part-time.
nrl club's VISIT
- Today: Caleb Binge returns to Wollongbar Public School where he was a student. New signing Josh Hoffman will also be there.
- Tomorrow: The Titans will hold an open training session at the Ballina Seagulls ground at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, from 11am.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.