NRL Rd 10 - Titans v Dragons
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 14: Tyrell Sloan of the Dragons is tackled during the round 10 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium, on May 14, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Tyrell Sloan could've been running around in Redcliffe right now if his Nan hadn't told him to 'man up' midway through last season.

After starting the opening three games of 2022 at fullback, Sloan wasn't sighted in first-grade again until Round 10, and his next game following that clash was Round 20 via the interchange bench, just months after being declared the club's long-term fullback.

It was a learning curve for Sloan, who's still just 20 years old, however, the fullback has now come to terms with the things in his control, and revealed how a tough conversation with Anthony Griffin turned him around.

“We caught up, Hook (Griffin) was very open and honest, he said he didn't communicate with me in the best way and that sort of led to us to not seeing eye-to-eye,” Sloan told Fox Sports.

“Me being such a young kid, I probably thought I knew it all and I obviously didn't, I'm still learning.

“It took both of us to be men together and we want to succeed, at the end of the day it had nothing to do with footy.

“I wanted to be stronger as a player and better as a person… we cleared everything that happened up in 2022 and we pushed all that aside.

“We've moved on now and I see Hook as a great coach and an even better bloke.”

The fullback admits he was kicking stones after being snubbed from his primary role, and it wasn't a partner or a parent that kicked Sloan back into gear.

It was his Nan.

“She told me in a straight forward way, I don't really talk footy with her, but she could tell something was going on in the off-season and throughout the year,” Sloan said.

“I did request a release through the year, and I've put that all behind me now, I am a St George Illawarra Dragon.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 01: In this handout image provided by NRL Photos Tyrell Sloan of the Dragons scores a try during the round 20 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Browne Park, on August 01, 2021, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by NRL Photos via Getty Images )

“With Nan, she just told me straight, stop being a sook and I am 20 years old now… she'd seen me since I was a kid.

“She said ‘stop being a sook, man up and have that chat with the coach', we got it done and now I praise Hook and what he has done for myself.

“It was a pretty tough moment asking for a release from a club that's had my back since I was 13, 14 years old,” Sloan said.

“If I'm honest now I wouldn't be able to leave, having my Nan down here and my brother and all my friends and family.

“In hindsight, I wouldn't be able to move, everything happens for a reason, obviously I got a crack at the No.1 jersey.”

Rumours swirled at the time that the Dolphins were interested in snaring Sloan for 2023, promising him the fullback role, however, Tyrell has stuck it out in Wollongong and is finally receiving his just desserts.

Cody Ramsey will miss the entire 2023 season due to illness while young gun Treigh Stewart is still coming through the grades, leaving Sloan as the sole heir to the fullback throne.

Indigenous All-Stars v New Zealand Maori All-Stars
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 22: Latrell Mitchell of the Indigenous All-Stars performs an Indigenous dance during the NRL match between the Indigenous All-Stars and the New Zealand Maori Kiwis All-Stars at Cbus Super Stadium on February 22, 2020 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

The 20-year-old was clearly emotional after the Charity Shield loss to South Sydney, reduced to tears and consoled by on-field rival and Indigenous All Stars team-mate Latrell Mitchell.

A close friend, the two grew close in All Stars camp, with Mitchell sending a short but sweet 'good game brother' text to Sloan the second the full-time siren rang against the Titans.

After a long, long time spent in a tunnel, trying to break through the other side and become an NRL fullback, it appears Sloan can finally see a few slithers of light beaming through.