In his debut season with the Broncos, fullback Reece Walsh will run out for his first NRL grand final on Saturday night.
Walsh played an integral role in the Broncos’ 42-12 preliminary final victory over his old club, the Warriors, at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.
”The boys try to get me in good spots to get me the ball. To be honest, I just play what I see and feel. That’s what I did on the weekend,” Walsh told Nine’s Today of the match.
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”I was obviously a bit nervous going up against some of my good mates, but I’m happy we got the bragging rights.”
At different points throughout the season, Walsh has been on the receiving end of heavy criticism around his fiery on-field behaviour and brash game-style.
But the 21-year-old has responded to his critics by working hard on himself and his footy.
”There’s always going to be people out in the world that say stuff about you and give their opinion, which they’re allowed to do,” he said.
”I know for myself, I have really good family and friends around me that keep me grounded and give me the right advice. I’m lucky enough to work really hard and have good people around me.”
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Walsh admitted it was a ”surreal” feeling to be lining up in Sunday’s premiership decider against the Panthers.
”To be honest it probably hasn’t sunk in for myself. I feel like, once today gets by, it will probably hit me like a brick wall,” he said.
To curb any nerves in the leadup, Walsh said he would be surrounding himself with those closest to him, including his daughter Leila.
”Getting around my family and just trying to be with them as much as I can. Obviously, be with my little one and spend as much time with her as I can,” Walsh said.
”She keeps me pretty calm which is good.”
To defeat the Panthers and bring home the Broncos’ seventh premiership trophy, Walsh believes it is as easy as sticking to the team’s strategy.
”It’s a really big game. The bigger the game the simpler the game plan and your job,” he said.
”I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a good challenge and we’re going to be right up for it.”