Lichaa opens up on 'stressful' uncertainty
Job security is an issue more and more Australians are faced with on a daily basis, but for Bulldogs hooker Michael Lichaa, the uncertainty surrounding his future beyond 2017 is something he can't afford to dwell on.
The 23-year-old is off contract at the end of the season and admits he has no idea if he'll stay at the club or be forced to pursue other options.
Lichaa joined the Bulldogs in 2015 with much fanfare in a move that saw departing Canterbury skipper Michael Ennis replace him in the No.9 jersey at the Sharks.
A noted runner of the ball in the under-20s, Lichaa's style of play hasn't always been conducive to Canterbury's unorthodox methods in attack, but he has shown glimpses of his best in recent weeks with 65 and 90 metres in rounds 14 and 16.
With Kieran Foran and Aaron Woods set to join the club in 2018 – and with no definitive salary cap as of yet – there is pressure on some clubs to offload players in a bid to stay compliant by the time next season's competition gets underway.
It's a scary proposition for unsigned players who are trying to secure their futures in a world where some clubs have already filled their books, but the talented dummy-half is confident his manager will sort something out in the coming weeks.
"It's obviously pretty stressful but it's something that you have to deal with as a rugby league player. Hopefully my manager can get it sorted out soon, but for the moment I just have to wait and see," Lichaa told NRL.com.
"It's not ideal, but when you sign up to play rugby league you know it's going to happen. With the cap still not sorted for next year – it's crazy to think it's still not sorted – this is just a part of it.
"You can't stress too much otherwise it's going to take over your life. Hopefully they can get it sorted sooner rather than later, but ultimately it's out of my control.
"I'd like to stay here. It's up to the club and whether they can fit me in or whatever the go is. I trust my manager so I'm just leaving all that stuff to him."
As we recently saw with Daniel Mortimer's mid-season switch to Leigh Centurions, the English Super League remains an option for players looking to secure a future, but at 23 years of age and still in his prime, Lichaa is keen to stay in the NRL.
"You've got to put food on the table for your family, but I wouldn't really want to do that at the moment," he said. "It's not ideal, but you never say never."