He's the Club's most capped player and a fan favourite amongst many in the Rugby League world, so it's only natural that Mitchell Aubusson would be destined to represent the Tricolours in the next stage of his life.
Since 2007 the Roosters faithful have known and adored the man they call 'Aubo', a Clubman who wore his heart on his sleeve and was a part of three Premiership teams - all in the famous Red, White and Blue of the Sydney Roosters.
He's played the most first-grade games of any Rooster, and it's fair to say he's probably played the most positions across the field too, reliably filling in at centre, second row, five-eighth, lock and hooker on multiple occasions. He even famously donned the no.7 jersey during the 2018 NRL Grand Final victory in one of the most dominant victories in the Club's history.
Aubo Returns Home
Since retiring at the end of 2020, Aubusson has been working across a number of departments at Roosters HQ, a plan which he says was hatched in the latter years of his career, with his decision to hang up the boots coming into fruition through the arduous lockdown period last season.
“My last two years were both one-year deals, so I wanted to see what feelings would come up during that time," he explained.
“Being in the covid bubble had a bit to do with it as well. Going into last year I felt really good coming off a Premiership, and then the world sort of turned upside down.
“Some other major things in that period of time happened; my father passed away and so I missed the return game to grieve - something the Club allowed me to do, which I’m grateful for - and then we came back home I knew it was my time.
“Once I made the decision I let my family know, I let 'Robbo' (Roosters Head Coach Trent Robinson) know and it felt good to have it off my chest.
“I thought I might have second-guessed myself, but I was really comfortable with my decision. I really enjoyed my time with the squad in those last few months because I knew it would be my last time playing with them.”
While others would be content enjoying the day-to-day lifestyle of an NRL player, Aubusson - always looking towards the future - set out a contingency plan for life after football, which he credits for making the twilight years of his career the most enjoyable.
"I studied according to that with a Diploma of Business Management, and got involved with a number of things to get me away from footy to keep things ticking over," said Aubusson.
Aubusson Post Match Tribute
“The Club was really good with me and said there could be an opportunity after footy, and in the last twelve months that has really come into fruition.
“It was meant to be a lot of learning on my feet, and while the bubble capped those opportunities, I still got through quite a bit in 2020.
“I like to be a pretty organised person and I wanted to make sure there was something after footy, and that actually helped me with my game. I had a backup plan, a transition and something to do away from training and playing.
“That made me feel free in regards to playing footy. There wasn’t this extra pressure of thinking ‘If this all ends now, what am I doing tomorrow?’. I had an idea of what was going to happen so it made playing all the more enjoyable, and for me, that was really important."
Most people know how much it means to me to be a part of this Club and making sure that it is one of the greatest sporting teams in Australia. I can’t do it on the field anymore, but I want to make sure I can do it off the field.Mitchell Aubusson Roosters Club Legend
Now entrenched as a beloved member in the Club's offices as a Recruiter for Junior Pathways, Football Operations and Club Ambassador, Aubusson is thriving with his newfound responsibilities, much like he did so on the field.
“I love it," he beamed.
"Most people know how much it means to me to be a part of this Club and making sure that it is one of the greatest sporting teams in Australia. I can’t do it on the field anymore, but I want to make sure I can do it off the field.
“The Club’s given me the chance to spend some time in each department for the first twelve months to get a really good understanding of how the Roosters work, and then to work out what best suits me.
“At the moment I’m in junior recruitment, which is a system that I’ve been through myself, so it’s good to see the other side of things and to help bring through the next generation of Roosters.
“I’ll then go to the football operations side and see how the Roosters prepare for their matches. There’s a lot of people here who do a lot of things to make sure the players can run onto the field.
“People just see the team go on and off the field, but there are so many unnoticed things that go on through the week to make sure the team can perform that day, and I want to be a part of that. I want to help the team perform at their best every week.
“I want to be a mentor to these young guys. I’ve been through the system and I’ve got a lot to offer in the regard of how to lead them and I believe I can help out.
Aubusson gets a double in his milestone match
While his experience is certainly a welcome addition to the football department, Aubusson says he is also looking forward to furthering the Club's image and brand through a number of corporate and community roles, something he believes is imperative the Roosters are involved in.
“The Club Ambassador role involves going to a number of different kinds of events," he elaborated.
“I want to be that gap to help the sponsorship team whenever they need things done, but it’s also about giving back to our sponsors who have done a whole lot for the Club over a number of years.
Classy finish as Raiders and Roosters farewell Aubusson
“I’ll also be going to local schools and leagues, and after missing out last year because of COVID-19, it’s good to be back. Kids are just happy to be back playing footy which is great to see and the Roosters need to play a part in that."
With so many new responsibilities and roles, some might even say that his work career has already begun to mirror his Rugby League career - and some might even go to the extent of labelling him a 'true utility' both on the field and in the office.
“That’s a big call. I hadn’t heard it yet but I think it's spot on,” Aubusson laughed.
“It’s sort of been the story of my career, hasn’t it? It’s never been conventional. You grow up playing one position and wearing one number, but it’s never been like that for me, and I suppose it’s transitioned for me in the work world as well.
“I’m more than happy to go into different areas and departments because to me it’s all Roosters, and that’s how it was when I played.
"If I can help out in any aspect I’m going to do that. I’m going to use some of those skills and learnings from footy into the corporate business world at the Roosters."