Country grit keeps Melbourne Storm star Dale Finucane committed to his studies

by frank-stuart

Now in his third season with the Melbourne Storm, Dale Finucane has just three subjects to complete his Bachelor of Health and Movement. He’s determined not to stop there.

“I’ve been studying for seven years with ACPE. That might seem like a long road, but you’ve got to persist with it. Do each bit of study when you can,” Dale said.

“When I finish playing rugby league, I want to become a PE teacher at a high school or sports college. That means I’ll also have to complete a Diploma of Education.”

Dale joined the Elite Athlete Program during his first year at ACPE.

“At the time I had signed up as junior rugby league player with the Canterbury Bulldogs and I was studying full-time,” Dale said.

“When I reached first grade I deferred my studies for a few years to focus on getting into the NRL.”

Dale Finucane

Fast forward several years, Dale is signed to the Melbourne Storm and studies part-time and online.

“ACPE is not like a regular uni. Over the years, the Elite Athlete Program has been really flexible in helping me work around my rugby league schedule.”

Dale has just finished pre-season, which involves long hours of training in skills, weights and hours of video analysis.

“There is not much time left to study. During the season, it’s more about maintenance and recovery, but we’ve still got to fit in 24 games,” he said.

“There are some practical components of my ACPE degree that I will need to complete in person but the theory is easy to study online.”

Originally from Bega in New South Wales, Dale is fiercely proud of his country origins. For the past three years, he has also played for the New South Wales Country Origin team and rates this as a career highlight.

“My other career highlight is being involved in three NRL grand finals – even though we lost all three,” Dale said.

“It is an amazing experience – win or lose. But you play because you want to win and getting that close keeps you competitive. That’s what I love about rugby league. Plus I get to play a sport I love with my mates every day.”

One day, teaching could take Dale back to the country, but for the time being, he’s enjoying the competition, facilities and experience available in the big city.

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