"KENNY Edwards knows it could be his last shot at the big time.
The stocky second-rower is painfully aware he owes it to himself, his family -- partner Madison and two-year-old daughter Malia-Rose -- and a couple of rugby league people who have not lost faith in an unfulfilled talent.
Handed a third chance to make it in the NRL, courtesy of a Parramatta offer, Edwards is determined to prove he is a changed man, one far removed from the bad-boy image that has tainted his erratic career since his schoolboy days at Keebra Park High.
"This is an opportunity for me to show people that I'm a different man," he said.
"It's a big challenge after what I've been through.
"I've had a hard time in the last few years but I feel the time is right for me."
The cousin of Kangaroos Test prop James Tamou, Edwards was this year's Southport Tigers senior captain who grabbed the spotlight for all the wrong reasons late in the season.
He featured in a well-publicised incident during an under-17s match when he was acting as a trainer.
Among several allegations, Edwards was accused of repeatedly inciting his young Tigers to fight their Cudgen opponents.
He was banned for the rest of the season, but had the charges downgraded on appeal and was freed to play for Southport in the Bycroft Cup finals.
It is an incident Edwards deeply regrets.
But he says it is all in the past, as are other off-field matters that lead him to admit to being a former problem child, the victim of a tough upbringing.
Edwards has already blown chances to play NRL with Manly and St George Illawarra.
He played Toyota Cup with both clubs, but continuing off-field antics forced him to sit out 2011 before he signed to play with Southport this year. In 2007, Edwards was an Australian Schoolboy rep while at Keebra Park. He looked set to take the next step and lobbed at Manly.
"In 2008, I moved to Manly and I basically thought I'd made it without really having made it," Edwards said.
"I started hanging out with the the big names, doing what they did, and I got into trouble.
"Then in 2009 I was at St George and I ran into more off-field issues."
But former Manly video analyst Will Badel knew Edwards could play and, now with Ricky Stuart at Parramatta, has convinced the NSW Origin coach to give Edwards a go.
Edwards has been offered a one-year contract which will be reviewed after six rounds in 2013.
"Will talked about a Penrith stint but that fell through," Edwards said.
"But then he rang me and said there may be an opportunity at Parramatta. He said he was going to speak to Ricky Stuart.
"Then out of the blue I was at work and had a missed call on my phone. It was Ricky and he said he wanted a yarn. That just blew me away.
"He told me it'll take a lot of hard work, but if I'm keen and show them 100 per cent in attitude and training it'll all be good.
"I agree I've been been a problem child but from now on there are no excuses for me any more.
"As Ricky said, it's all up to me now and I'm more than ready to take the chance."
Says he got a call from Stuart personally... hopefully he takes this seriously. I also noticed he's Tamou's cousin... It seems we have a habit of targeting the family members of our real targets, with some pretty good success so far...