Dugan radiated positivity when he spoke about beginning at proper centre and even setting himself the aim of reclaiming his NSW and Kangaroos jerseys – in full distinction to the scenes that unfolded just some lots of metres away at Shark Park final September.
“There was undoubtedly a little bit of melancholy, anxiousness, simply attempting to remain on the right track, and missing motivation,” Dugan informed The Herald.
“It was arduous as a result of I used to be on and off the sector on a regular basis, and once I was off the sector I used to be coaching on my own.
“I used to be missing dedication and motivation. I used to be doing every part I may to get again on the park as a result of I hated being injured, however there could be days I would flip as much as coaching and I wasn’t me. A couple of of the boys picked up on it and mentioned, ‘you are not your self’.
“I had prevented it for very long time and tried to brush [the feelings] off. Then all of it got here on and overflowed that day. It was good to get it off my chest. Individuals noticed the true facet of me. It was a blessing in disguise as a result of I bought lot of help from it.
“I took a while off at finish of final yr, bought away and realized a couple of issues about myself and how you can deal with issues.
“I am taking so much higher care of myself off the sector. I’ve discovered avenues off the sector I can escape to, which is one thing I’ve in all probability lacked in years passed by.”
Dugan had break together with his fiancee in Fiji after which Port Douglas. He has thrown himself again into neighborhood work, is finding out for his diploma in counselling at TAFE, and has long-term plans to maneuver into the juvenile justice system.
The day he broke down he, had been attempting to make the purpose concerning the good deeds of footballers typically being ignored for a couple of dangerous ones. At that stage, Dugan had simply been in sizzling water for swearing on a podcast.
He was capable of put his level throughout a lot clearer on Tuesday. “For each dangerous story there are 10 good ones involving gamers,” he mentioned.
Few would have realised on the time of the interview, however Dugan had performed for practically an hour towards the Roosters in week one of many finals with a subluxed shoulder, the place the joint popped out and again into the socket.
He missed week two towards Penrith and returned for the preliminary closing towards Melbourne, solely to be ignored by then coach Shane Flanagan.
It was a sore level on the time, however Dugan met with surgeons a couple of days later and was informed he had torn all of the ligaments on the entrance of his shoulder and chipped a part of the bone.
Mal Meninga contacted Dugan about his availability for the Prime Minister’s XIII staff, just for Dugan to have to interrupt the information he wanted shoulder surgical procedure.
“Mal mentioned to me, ‘I do know what you are able to do for the jersey and what you’ve got achieved prior to now, so I am not nervous about your type main into [the PM’s game]’, however he did not find out about my shoulder,” Dugan mentioned.
“It was comforting realizing Mal had my again with that form of factor, and it provides me one thing to try for this yr. If every part goes effectively I am hoping I can put my hand up for Origin and the Australian staff once more.”
Teenage rookie Bronson Xerri scored an thrilling long-range strive in Cronulla’s trial on Saturday, however the younger centre will be taught a lot from Dugan and fellow worldwide recruit Josh Morris, fairly than problem for his or her spots.
“He is bought the entire world forward of him, me and ‘J-Moz’ try to develop him the most effective we will,” mentioned Dugan, whose new mullet was simply as imporessive as his recent outlook.
“When you’ve J-Moz who has performed over 200 video games and scored over 100 tries and is without doubt one of the greatest defensive centres within the recreation, and I like to think about myself pretty much as good defensive centre as effectively. We have performed Origin and for Australia, so there are two guys he can be taught off. There are some thrilling occasions for the membership.”
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.