The task of setting up a new team base on the Sunshine Coast last year may just pay off in a different way for the Sea Eagles in 2022.
With the NRL relocating the 16 clubs and the Telstra Premiership to Queensland last June due to the covid pandemic, it saw the Sea Eagles NRL squad and most of their families move to the Sunshine Coast for the remainder of the competition.
Many Sea Eagles players believe the opportunity they spent living together daily for almost four months will only prove beneficial after experiencing the highs and lows of NRL camp life.
“The move to Queensland was something we will probably never experience again,’’ said Captain Daly Cherry-Evans said.
“I felt like our team really saw it as an opportunity to do something exciting and together. When you see your families move away and they don’t have that support networks from Sydney, we had to lean on each other.
“I really enjoyed seeing people and their families and spending that time together and trying to connect with each other. It definitely took our game to a new level.
We can’t deny that being together for so long and making those connections with their families helped us play better footyDaly Cherry-Evans on life in camp on the Sunshine Coast
“We need to build on that again. It’s not just about what happens on game day. There are six other days of the week when we are together and I think we need to continue to find ways to hang out and connect with each other’s friends and families.”
Reuben Garrick said the ability to ‘switch off’ and relax with the families was a big part of his success last season.
“Whenever I’m playing good footy, it’s usually off the back of me just enjoying life,’’ Garrick added.
“We were winning and having fun. The camp environment in Queensland really helped me.
“In between training and playing, we were playing table tennis, golf, going surfing, and the weather was nice and warm.
“I just loved it. I’m a very active person. I can’t just sit still.”