Weather the Storm: Corey Payne Blog Post
Thursday 21 March 2013 9:00 AM
It’s getting close to two months since I retired from rugby league and I must admit I haven’t really missed it. I miss being around my mates every day but the physical and mental side of things is not something I miss at all.
It’s been good to wake up each morning and know that I don’t have to go to training to put my body through the torture I did for years. In all honesty, I haven’t trained once and it’s starting to show already. Eating what I like, drinking what I like, it’s been fun. I’ve been working hard but also chatting to a lot of people and having a good time.
I spoke to Steve Turner yesterday about retirement and I mentioned to him about making sure that he keeps busy to make the transition smoother. A lot of players have based their life around their weekly training schedule but once that is gone you obviously have to fill in your days. I’ve been kept very busy by the continued work with the Future Direction Network and it feels much better when it is just your mind that is fatigued rather than the physical challenge that I had week to week both training and playing.
I’ve still been keeping a close eye on the footy and especially the Bulldogs. My early thoughts are that they need to improve the ball handling coming out of our own area. The general ball control hasn’t been great and they’ve also been giving away a lot of silly penalties. Everyone can see it and I’m sure Des (Hasler) has emphasised the fact that giving away cheap penalties and cheap possession just isn’t good enough.
With the likes of Barba, Graham, Kasiano and Pritchard out I think the younger guys have really stepped up and filled the void. Josh Jackson just continues to get better and better and Marty Taupau is growing into that front row position. Dave Klemmer has impressed me and is carrying the ball strongly. He really got in there and had a crack in the pre-season and his work-ethic has got him his chance. You can’t coach work-ethic but Dave gave it his all through the summer and he is now being rewarded.
The Storm will be a tough opposition this week, as they always are. They have it all, great discipline, a will to win, they are always in the arm-wrestle and have that winning culture.
I haven’t given much thought to the Grand Final loss but to put it simply, they outplayed us in that match. They outsmarted us and worked out how we were going to play and we simply just didn’t have a plan-b. You can’t give a team like the Storm anymore possession than they deserve or you will be punished and that is what happened.
Aside from the ‘big three’ this week, I must say that Jesse Bromwich up front has been a revelation in the early part of the year. He was a stand-out in the World Club Challenge and has been a handful in the opening two rounds. There back row with the experienced Ryan Hoffman there and the youth of Tohu Harris has also looked good. Hoffman is just one of those players who never lets anybody down. He is a big game player and continues to perform. Harris is just feeding off what the others are doing in front of him and has had a good start to his NRL career.
To see some of the great work that Corey is doing in his post-football career, visit the website for the Future Direction Network at www.fdn.net.au