Rising star heads east Sean O’Sullivan trains with the Sydney Roosters first team.
The Penrith Panthers junior fielded offers from several NRL clubs after an electric 2016.
He signed for the Roosters in the middle of sitting HSC exams at Patrician Brothers College, Blacktown.
TweetFacebook Sean O’Sullivan signs with Sydney RoostersPictures: Sydney RoostersAt a time when most Year 12 students were completely focused on the HSC, Sean O’Sullivan was steeling himself for the hardest decision of his young career.
Before sitting a single exam, the Patrician Brothers’ College Blacktown graduate was putting pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Sydney Roosters.
It formally endedsix years with the Penrith Panthers, where O’Sullivan guided his team to become national junior champions last year.
“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” he confessed.
“I’ve been playing with all those boys since I was 12 or13, and they’re all my best mates so it was a sad decision. But it was probably the best decision for my football.”
The move was the final actof an unforgettable yearfor O’Sullivan.
In 2016, he represented NSW in a victoriousunder-18s State of Origin match, scored18 points for Australian Schoolboysin a 50-26 win over England Academy, and was named NSW Rugby League’s junior player of the year.
An electric seasonculminated in O’Sullivan fielding offers from several NRL clubs.
The Glenmore Park Brumbies junior said he decided to remain in Sydney to beclose to his mum, dad and sister.
He was able to enjoy two days ofschoolies between preseason commitments – but he said training with the first team hasbeen “the best experience ever”.
“When I first went in there I was nervous, shy; I had just turned 18 and I was training with my idols,” he said.
“The first week or two I was in awe of all of them. But now I’m really comfortable around them. It’s been great, I’ve learned so much already.”
Sean O’Sullivan, with fellow Patrician Brothers Blacktown students Michael Tupou and Josh Curran, after being selected for the Australian Schoolboys Rugby League team last year. Picture: Geoff Jones
O’Sullivan said he’snoticed improvements in his fitness, strength and confidence by pitting himself against some of the biggest names in rugby league, including Jake Friend and Blake Ferguson.
He’s already been named in a 25-man NSW under-20s training squad, but said securing regular game time in the NYC Holden Cup washis sole focus for this season.
“I just want to play good football really, and all the other stuff will take care of itself,” he said.
“I don’t really try and set myself specific goals because I feel like it could distract me.
“I just try to stick to the process and take every game as it comes.”
Though he seemingly has the world at his feet now, O’Sullivan is already planning for his career after professional football.
He will study a Bachelor of Business (Sports Management) at university, having done well in the HSC and makingthe principal’s honours list.
Patrician Brothers rugby league head coach Matthew Hartigan had plenty of praise for his “super impressive” former student.
“Sean has all the attributes of a leader and the whole Patrician Brothers Blacktown community is extremely proud of everything has has achieved to this point,” Hartigan said. “We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sean.”
The teenager said his coaches and teachers all helped him reach the point he’s at now.
“The whole school was awesome to me, helping me out with my education and my football,” he said. “I wouldn’t be the player that I am without Patrician Brothers.
“I love the school and I’ll forever be in debt to it.”