James Tedesco has shown maturity beyond his 23 years on the field and the same holds true away from Rugby League.
There’s a side of the Wests Tigers fullback you didn’t know about. Away from the NRL — and his spectacular tries and blinding speed — Tedesco is nailing down his long-term financial future.
The Daily Telegraph was invited into Tedesco’s other world — property development.
Tedesco, who confront Jarryd Hayne’s Titans at Campbelltown, has begun developing two properties in Sydney’s south-west with a third looming.
With the guidance of father John and mentor Reno Santaguida, a respected Liverpool property developer, Tedesco is building a property portfolio rarely seen among those his age.
Tedesco is developing four townhouses at Lurnea, each two storeys and overlooking a lake. He is also establishing a home and granny flat on a property at Spring Farm, near Camden, with a third property to be developed at Menangle Park.
He owns all the properties, each expected to be approved and completed within the next 12 months. Tedesco even assists in designing the properties.
Aside from property development, the incumbent NSW Origin fullback is also close to completing a health science degree. And Tedesco may complete a property degree in coming years.
“You hear a lot of stories about footy players getting a lot of money and wasting it,” Tedesco said. “I want to try and get more things going. I don’t want to get stale and not be up to date with all the land and property. I have targeted it around where I grew up — Menagle, Camden, Liverpool. Out west, Campbelltown, Camden way, it’s really developing and getting bigger and bigger.
“Property development is the best way to use your money. I am earning more money than the average person so I want to make the most of it while I can. Use the money properly and be smart about it. Dad got me into it, Reno too. I am still learning about it but am starting to get the hang of it.
“I will try and get as much (property) under my belt while I am playing. At 23, I am maturing a bit and starting to know what is best for me. If I keep going on this path, I can set myself up for after footy. So far, so good.”
Tedesco’s thoughtful dad, John, is exceptionally proud of his son.
“We are trying to invest his money, rather than spending it. He is taking an interest in developing property,” John said. “James just has this drive and wants to do stuff. He doesn’t just want to do it, he wants to do it well.
“He sets himself goals and sometimes I think he’s not going to be able to do it. But he does. James used to be fairly quiet but he is now expressing himself more, he’s growing up I guess. Everything he does he wants to do it the best he can.”
Property development will mould Tedesco’s future — and it has also relaxed the Wests Tigers star away from rugby league’s high-pressure demands. It is his relaxation, his hobby, his passion — all rolled into one.
“I bought the property in Camden a while ago but haven’t built on it so we’re starting to get some plans together now. I told them what I wanted. A nice two-storey overlooking a lake. A granny flat on the side, which was Reno’s idea,” he said. “It’s good to get away from footy for a while and think about other stuff, get footy off my mind for a while.”
Dean Ritchie, The Daily Telegraph