Balancing a full-time job in nocturnal hours with semi-professional footy on the weekend is hard enough.
Managing those deferred mid-week fixtures, that's just plain impossible. Well, almost.
"As soon as they said there would be a catch-up game against North Sydney on a Monday night, I knew that would be a tough one," Illawarra Cutters' 'night owl' five-eighth Nathan Dureau said.
"Work helped me out a bit so they gave me a couple of easy jobs. I had a good sleep that day, that's for sure."
What Dureau didn't elaborate on was the fact as soon as the full-time siren blasted, he was meant to be in his car.
En route to being underground leaving barely enough time for a few obligatory handshakes and a splash under the uninviting shed showers.
Although the post-game address from Cutters coach Paul McGregor couldn't be missed.
"He wouldn't let anyone skip that speech because we lost," Dureau laughed.
While an out-of-the-ordinary Monday night game might have presented its own problems, the weekly grind can be just as hard.
Normal working hours of 10pm until 8am the following morning mean the only daylight Dureau regularly sees is when he's playing on the weekend, save for the twilight training sessions he rises early to attend.
He's just one of dozens of footballers across the region who go through the weekly ordeal, switching body clocks at the start and end of every weekend.
"It is a bit of a struggle week to week," Dureau said. "You get yourself in a routine where you're asleep throughout the day and you're awake at night, but every weekend you've got to switch back and make that adjustment.
"It's definitely something that's not easy to do and I'm sure a lot of the blokes who do night shift will vouch for that. Most blokes that aren't in the full-time squad have jobs. Everyone travels a lot for training three times a week so everyone has different struggles.
"If you've got a good family around you they make it a lot easier, that's for sure."
Dureau has been somewhat of an X-factor for the Cutters, who have won seven out of their last eight points to nestle in the top eight for the first time this season.
A graduate of the Dragons' National Youth Competition set-up under Steve Price, Dureau's association with former Wests mentor McGregor opened up the NSW Cup door.
"Mary and I have been mates for a lot of years now," he said.
"I went overseas and got engaged to my now fiance and the deal was when I got back, if I still wanted to have a run I'd have a run. At the time he was pretty keen, I was pretty keen . . . so it worked out well."
He won't play a more important game this year than the Cutters' trip to Canberra Stadium to take on ninth-placed Mounties today, with the hosts one point adrift of the Cutters outside the top eight.
"We had the week off last week so it was good time for the boys to recuperate, get themselves together and get ready for this week," Dureau said.
"It's a very important game for us to keep us in the top eight and advance us towards the semis. Everyone's really excited now and hopefully it will show this weekend."
NSW CUP - ROUND 23
Saturday, August 17
Mounties v Illawarra Cutters, Canberra Stadium (12.40pm)
Live on Fox Sports 1