HE'S now a proud Bulldog, but Aaron Schoupp will always be a Butcher. How could you not be when you lay claim to the Thirroul club's Try of the Century?
It may take another hundred years to find a try that tops his after-the-siren effort against Collegians in 2019. Trailing by four, and with the siren blown, the Butchers Hail Mary had nine sets of hands, two kicks and even a falcon before Shcoupp planted the equaliser millimetres inside the touch-in-goal line.
It was enough for an overexcited commentator to put down his Coke Zero and topped a poll of the most memorable tries in the club's history on its social media channels through lockdown this year.
"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time," Schoupp said.
"I actually took the run the play before and I played the ball. It went all the way to the right, it came off someone's head, came off the ground and Johnno (Joel Johnson) put a kick through and I just pounced on it.
"It was awesome and I'm very grateful for my time there at Thirroul. I think playing grade against those strong men in that strong competition at a young age really helped turn me into an NRL player."
An NRL player he certainly is on the back of a stellar debut campaign at Belmore this season. In what was a tough year on the team front, Schoupp proved a shining light, averaging 140 running metres in 13 games and not surrendering his first grade spot after debuting in round 11.
More impressive, it came under duress, the 20-year-old only making it onto the park with help of pain-killing injections over the final six weeks of the season. He thought a busted AC joint was the culprit, but end-of-season surgery revealed he'd played through something far more significant.
"At the end of the season I was only meant to get my AC joint cleaned up but, when I got cut open, they got in there found I had a fully torn rotator cuff," he said.
"I did it in round 19, but I didn't know. We got scans that week and it didn't really show up so we didn't think it was anything too serious. I was in a fair bit of pain.
"I wouldn't train most weeks, I'd just get through in the pink (no contact) singlet and do the captain's run. I'd have two needles before the game, two needles at halftime, and that was me for the last six weeks.
"It was pretty challenging mentally but I'd do it again."
Penrith star Nathan Cleary is rightly earning plaudits for his courage in carrying that injury through a run to this weekend's grand final. It's another thing altogether for a debutant in a side that was playing to avoid the wooden spoon.
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He'd have certainly been forgiven for calling it early, but his grit in playing on says a lot about the 20-year-old's character. It impressed the decision-makers at the Bulldogs enough to extend his contract for another three years.
Having gone to great lengths to clear a mountain of salary cap space, along with making huge waves in the recruitment market, the Bulldogs aren't a club handing out long-term deals to players they didn't see a big future in.
Schoupp now shapes as one who got away for the Dragons, with the Illawarra Sports High School alum having starred with the Steelers SG Ball Cup-winning side in 2019 alongside the likes of Tyrell Sloan, Jayden Sullivan, Talatau Amone and Mat and Max Feagai.
However, he got little more than a nibble from the Dragons and found the unabashed faith of the Bulldogs too appealing to resist. He's had no reason to second guess the call.
"I wasn't really a priority coming up with the Dragons," he said.
"I never really wanted to leave. It's my local area, I grew up here, I'm born and bred in Wollongong, played for Thirroul. But as it got to coming into grade and contracts, they showed me where I stood.
"They didn't offer me too much and just showed I wasn't much of a priority. I sat down with my manager and my family and we had a couple of clubs come through and offer me something but the Dogs showed the most faith in me.
"It was a challenge I was willing to take on. I didn't know anyone up there from a bar of soap, I just had to prove myself. It's the best decision I've made, I'm really close with all the boys up there and I feel like I really fit in.
"It was a no-brainer for me to re-sign with the Dogs, they've shown a lot of faith in me and gave me my first-grade crack. I'm really excited about the next three years."
One thinks rightly so given the looming arrival of Matt Burton, Josh Addo-Carr, Matt Dufty and Paul Vaughan ahead of next season. Having been thrown in the deep end, Schoupp feels he and some of the other young guns will be better for a trying first-up campaign.
"I think because I came into grade in a tough year where we didn't get many results, it's definitely made me a lot mentally stronger," Schoupp said.
"I think the last six-seven weeks we all knew we were trying to build something for next year. With the singings we've got coming, there's a lot of excitement and everyone's got good high vibes coming into the preseason.
"I think everyone's itching to get in and turn around the last two-three years that haven't been so successful. There's definitely a good foundation now with us young boys coming through, Jackson Topine, Bailey [Biondi-Odo] and some other boys who've been here a couple of years.
"I think those recruits will add a bit of spark to our attack which is what we probably did lack this year. You look at the results we got, we were always in games, we never really got blown away, we just didn't know how to close games out and win them.
"With the good foundation we have, and with the likes of Matt Burton and Josh Addo-Carr coming in, there should be some good results for us next year."