‘I just wanted to play the game’: What it was like to play as an NRL star
It was a quiet afternoon at Cronulla’s Cronulla Stadium on Sunday.
The players had all packed into the grandstand to watch their club’s match against the Sharks.
The NRL was playing its final home match of the season and for most of the team it was their last.
As a result, some players were starting to think of the game in a different way.
“You can always say I didn’t go into it thinking about what I want to do after,” winger Corey Norman said.
“I just said, ‘I want to play football’.”
I don’t want to say it’s a bad thing.
I’ve just said it’s something I’ve got to get used to, it’s not something I’m used to.
“Norman had been drafted into the Raiders under the direction of former Cronulla coach Brad Arthur, but has now played a key role in the club’s development under former assistant coach Trent Barrett.
Barrett has been credited with helping Norman, who joined the club at the end of last season, to develop into a player who could make an impact on the field.
The Raiders’ top-eight finish, coupled with their first-ever NRL premiership, has catapulted the club into the spotlight.
But it is Norman who has been the star of the show, and who has become the face of the NRL.
He is currently playing in the NSW Cup, but was recently named a player of the year by the NRLWA.
He has also won the club a third-placed finish in the state competition.”
If I get a chance to be part of the Cronulla Raiders and be a part of this club, it would be a dream come true,” Norman said of the opportunity to play in the NRL grandstand.”
It’s the most exciting time for the game, it was something I had no control over at the time.
“Now it’s just like playing in a game, you don’t know if you’re going to win or lose, but you know you’re playing well.”