ANDY Ackers knows where he could have been if he hadn’t taken his father’s advice as a teenager – in trouble.
Certainly nowhere near England’s World Cup squad after a sensational season for Salford.
The hooker actually gave up rugby league when he was younger and wasn’t accepted into any scholarship scheme.
As a typical teenager, he began to stray, but if he hadn’t listened to his family, he might have been far from it.
Realizing also that it was tough love working for his father on a construction site, he gave the sport another try and has no regrets, although while training with Shaun Wane’s team he keeps asking himself, ‘What am I doing here? “
Ackers said, “I wrapped it up when I was 14 or 15 and started going down the wrong path with a bunch of guys I grew up with.
“When I was 17, I said to my father, ‘What am I going to do?’ He replied: “Why don’t you try rugby league again?
“And I don’t want to think about where I would be if I hadn’t done that. Quite a few buddies back home are not doing well – although I won’t disrespect my friends and have a few who are also doing well.
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“I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for rugby league – I wouldn’t be a builder, that’s for sure.
“No disrespect to anyone who works on a construction site, but it’s hard work. I think Dad put me on this site on purpose to prove to me that it’s not the right life for me.
“I started at 6am and finished at 5pm, then went straight to part-time training, had my tea at 9pm and did that all week.
“But this isn’t a sob story. I took off my socks to get to where I am now.”
Even after giving rugby league a second bounce, all was not smooth for Ackers.
Toronto Wolfpack still owe him money after the collapse – but he had already signed for Salford, where he has established himself as one of England’s best.
But he’s not just here for the World Cup ride and despite having been there for a week, the 28-year-old already feels like a better player.
Ackers, who will make his England bow in tonight’s warm-up game against Fiji, added: “I can already feel a difference in my game after just a few training sessions, I feel like it’s improved by three or four notches.
“Everyone is a 10 out of 10, there are no sevens or sixes. You have to be 10 out of 10 every day.
“I wake up every morning and think, ‘I’m going to a World Cup camp in England.’ However, I am very confident that I can add something to this site – which Shaun wants.
“Also, I already feel like Luke Thompson is my type and I know George Williams because he played alongside him at Wigan Academy. It’s a close-knit, no-nonsense group — much like a band of brothers.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6388033/andy-ackers-england-fiji-world-cup/ Andy Ackers’ England chance comes after giving up rugby league and then taking his dad’s hint