A lot has changed since I last played for the Redbacks, and a lot more is to come for me.
The 2017-18 season is over.
A few months ago, I decided to make the long drive to Townsville to watch the Reds take on the Blues in a one-day international in the opening game of the 2017-2018 season.
I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity.
The Redbacks won the series 2-1 and have since qualified for the next round.
They’ve now won five games out of seven and are on course for the highest ranking in the Queensland State of Origin series.
But a lot of things have changed.
They’re going to need a lot better than that.
Four seasons in a row The first time I went to Towns, I had no idea who the players were.
The only thing I could tell you was that they were from a local club.
It was just a little thing that I noticed that there were people in the dressing room that I didn’t know.
I was so confused that I kept thinking, “Who are these people?”
The next time I played for a local team, I got to meet some of the guys.
The rest is history.
It’s just a lot different when you’re away from home.
I’ve been here five years and I’ve seen a lot.
My family is still here.
It feels like it’s gone a long way.
They were the first ones I met.
The Reds have grown into being the best team in the league and I know they’re not the only ones.
The Blues, on the other hand, have just gotten stronger.
They started off the year as the bottom team in Australia, but by the end of the year, they had a better record than the Reds.
Now they have a better group of players.
They have a great coach in Trent Robinson, they have players that are getting younger and they have more experienced players that they’re grooming.
I’m sure I’ll be back.
I played a few matches for the Reds and was really impressed with the team.
There were a few times when I felt like I had to go back to my hotel room because I was running out of things to say.
I feel like they’ve done a good job with me.
But there’s still a lot to come.
There’s still room for improvement, too.
The players aren’t all that experienced, especially when it comes to the back end of their careers.
That’s why they’ve got so many young players.
I think they’re all in their late 20s.
You have to look at the players that you play with in the big games.
That gives you an idea of what the big picture looks like.
You can’t compare their careers, but there are a few of the older guys that are doing very well, too, especially in the halves.
I saw the Blues do well in the Brisbane Roar, but that was before the 2017 World Cup.
They just kept going, but they were always on the back foot.
I don’t think they have any doubt about where they’re going.
I really do feel they’re the best side in the competition.
They always have a lot on the line.
Their form is incredible.
They win a lot, too; they’re in the finals.
There are some players that have to step up and do a lot for their club.
That will always be the case, especially now that they’ve come out with the big trophy.
I have a couple of young players that I’m really excited about.
They come from the academy, so they’ll have to make sure they’re ready when they step up.
That means a lot in terms of developing the younger players.
Their mentality is unbelievable, too: They’re like the new guys.
They want to get into the team, they want to win a grand final, and they want a big trophy with them.
You’ll see that in the coming seasons, too — it’s just the nature of the beast.
I hope they keep growing and keep developing.