When the summer began, Jeremy Marshall-King was a part-time footballer working in demolition to supplement his income. This weekend he will be a starting half-back alongside Canterbury superstar Kieran Foran.
“Absolutely, it’s been a big change,” Marshall-King said. “I’ve worked really hard to get a spot. I was a part-time player working in demolition. I’ve come so far now and I’m really excited for myself. It’s a pretty good feeling.”
Bulldogs coach Dean Pay has axed Matt Frawley for the clash with Penrith, giving Marshall-King his first opportunity to start an NRL game in what will be his fourth opportunity. It’s a rapid rise given, despite making his first-grade debut for Wests Tigers in the last game of last season, the joint-venture outfit offered him only a part-time deal.
He has made the most of his opportunity at the blue and whites, impressing to the point where he has earned a contract extension and the No.6 jersey, the number worn by older brother Benji Marshall for much of his career. The two had dreamed about playing alongside each other at the Tigers, but Benji encouraged his sibling to take up a better opportunity.
“He wanted to stay here and play with me,” Benji Marshall said. “I didn’t say ‘you have to go’, I said ‘if I was you, I’d take the opportunity there.' Over there, there was more opportunity with only Michael Lichaa in front of him as starting hooker.