Game legend and former NSW coach Phil Gould has sent out an inspirational message of self-belief to the Blues team ahead of the State of Origin series opener on Wednesday.
In The Sydney Morning Herald Gould has told the team to not let the opinions of experts, fans or bookies influence their game, warning them if it does “then please, hand in your jersey – don’t dare take the field. You will be wasting your time and everyone else’s”.
While his words are aimed at firing up a pack of footballers ready for war, Gould’s words are emotive enough to make the Sunday morning reader want to take on the world in their pyjamas.
Here’s an excerpt from Gould’s letter to the Blues.
The only thing that really matters is what you believe. The belief you have in yourself. The trust and belief you have in your teammates. It’s also the trust and belief that you instil in the man alongside you with your preparation, your encouraging words and, most importantly, your aggressive actions.
The game plans, the trick shots, the structures, the tactics, the philosophies and the rehearsed plays – they will mean little to the overall result of this match. Most of that goes out the window pretty quickly in these Origin games. You will soon realise it’s a game of attrition, aggression, self-belief and, at times, even survival.
This game will take you to fatigue levels never before experienced. It will take you to dark places in your own mind. The ability to control your own thoughts and to inspire the thoughts of those around you with your efforts is crucial.
It’s about you. It’s not about them.
But here’s the thing.
It doesn’t matter what other people think.
It only matters what you believe.
Go the Blues!
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