AFTER two years away from home, Daniel Alvaro returned to Sydney, played a year for Parramatta Eels in the Holden Cup and now has a chance to play in the NRL.
Four years ago, the former Mittagong Lions junior headed up north to play for Brisbane Broncos in the under-20s competition.
In the two years he spent with Brisbane, Daniel enjoyed some great experiences but finally decided it was "time to come home".
"I probably struggled with it a lot in the beginning, just pretty homesick. I got used to it but just decided I wanted to come home."
In his first match for Brisbane, Daniel got just four minutes game time at the end of the match but said he was still thrilled to get out on the field.
Daniel hasn't had much luck with finals football, with neither Brisbane or Parramatta making the semis during the time he spent at each club.
But despite that he said the last three years had been filled with incredible experiences.
"Playing in the 18s Origin two years ago, that was definitely a big highlight, I really enjoyed that. My first 20s game for Brisbane and my first 20s game for Parra they were both awesome games for me that really stand out."
No stranger to Holden Cup football by the time he arrived at Parramatta, Daniel played most of the game in his first match.
"That was awesome, just a great experience. I think we tailed up the Warriors so that was great."
Daniel is now too old to play in the Holden Cup and is part of the rookie squad for the NRL team.
Whether he gets a first grade berth or plays most of the season for Parramatta's feeder club Wentworthville Magpies, Daniel said he was keen just to get out on the footy field.
"I just had a shoulder reconstruction last year so I haven't played for six months. I can't wait to get out there and play any sort of footy."
The front rower has a big job ahead of him to make it to the NRL side and a hectic training schedule to keep him on track.
"With the 20s it was pretty full on. You trained most afternoons of a week and now I'm training most days. So we get in about 8am and have two sessions during the day and usually finish around three or four o'clock."
In his three years playing in the under-20s, Daniel said his first experience training with the NRL was only a few weeks ago.
"I've been really excited and just loving every day. It's really good and everyone's really happy to be there."
Daniel said the NRL team will be picked week-to-week and he wanted to make sure the selectors noticed him.
"It really depends I guess on how each of us go and injuries and things like that so all you can do is keep doing your best and popping your head up.
"Just trying to be consistent really, that's probably the biggest thing with footy at the moment. I've just got to keep backing up day after day."
Now living with his grandparents near Parramatta, Daniel said he enjoyed being close to his friends and family.
"It's much easier being down here and being able to come home on the weekends and see family and friends."