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NRL' star opens up on life after season suspended because of COVID-19

by Carmela Reno (2020-05-10)

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Sydney Roosters co-captain Jake Friend has turned his hand to his cafe business to keep the money coming in during the NRL suspension.

The footy star, 30, is among hundreds of rugby league players left in limbo by the suspension of the league last week due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here is more information in regards to and we’ll do our very best to give you the top-notch Quality Service experience you deserve. check out the site.  

Friend, whose contract with the NRL champions runs out this year, has focused his energy in the meantime on keeping the coffee shop he owns in Sydney's eastern suburbs alive during the crisis.

Sydney Roosters co-captain Jake Friend has turned to his cafe business High St Society in Randwick since the suspension of the NRL season

The footy star, pictured with his fiancee Jenna Kallin,  has been left in limbo by the suspension and has invested his energy in keeping his cafe business alive

Friend pictured with his fiancee last May after injuring his right arm

The Roosters hooker said he has been battling to keep staff at the cafe - High St Society opposite Randwick Children's Hospital - employed during the crisis.

 'I've got a bit of money invested in the cafe and I don't want to see that disappear and fall over with everything that is going on,' he said.

'We're employing eight people and I want to keep on as many of them as we can and keep them working.' 





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The cafe's proximity to the hospital during the pandemic has prompted Friend and his business partner Dave Martin to take part in the 'Buy Them a Coffee' trend.

Doctors and nurses across Australia are being offered free coffees to thank them for putting their lives on the line to treat COVID-19 patients. 

The NRL star said he is trying to set up an offer of complementary coffees to the first 50 to 100 nurses who come to High St Society each morning. 

High St Society is located opposite Randwick Children's Hospital and Friend is planning to offer doctors and nurses free coffees at the start of the day as part of a national trend to thank healthcare workers for their work during the COVID-19 outbreak

The Roosters hooker is out of contract with the Roosters at the end of 2020 and is using the suspension to pursue his other career goals 

Friend is one of many NRL players to turn to a second profession, and he said he was proud of his teammates for making it work financially in uncertain times.

'I'm lucky we have a big group of people we work with at the Roosters everyday who are pretty tight-knit,' he said.

'I've got a fiancee but it's just us and her - others have kids and have to work as hard as they can to support their families.

'The public perception is every player is on a million dollars but a lot of the players are on a lot less.' 

The Roosters hooker pictured with his fiancee in 2018. He said he has been battling to keep staff at the cafe in Randwick - High St Society - employed during the pandemic

Friend pictured with his fiancee celebrating the Roosters' 2019 Grand Final victory over the Canberra Raiders

Meanwhile, the Roosters squad have been forced to train on their own because of social distancing rules designed to stem the spread of the virus.  

'Everyone has got to do their own training - I get out when I can and just make do and stick by the government regulations for now,' Friend said.

'We're all on Zoom as well and all the new digital platforms people are relying on.' 

Aside from the cafe, Friend has started his own plumbing business in preparation for when he eventually retires from the game.

'It has been in the pipeline before all this happened with the virus. We have a van and we're getting a website ready to go,' he said.  


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