a new legacy
The club had a big camp in the country and, on one day, every player was asked to get up and present the three things that meant the most to them.
It wasn’t only the players – the coaches and the entire NRL staff got involved as well. When my turn arrived, the sessions were in full swing.
I began my presentation with a photo of me and my partner, Sara, along with our three kids Kahlia, Hurricane and Hayze (I’ll explain the kids’ names later!)
My second item was my debut Kiwis jumper while the third was a special photo collage of me and my Dad Louis, who played first grade for the Eels back in 1987.
The collage was a gift to me from a Parra fan and features an action shot of Dad, ball tucked under an arm and running towards me in a modern-day jumper. We both love it to bits.
Making the club great again was also a big part of our attitude throughout pre-season.
Everyone knows the Eels had their most famous and successful era in the ‘Eighties. The current group is trying to build things up and create our own history – a new legacy for the players and fans of today and tomorrow.
It seems like the perfect time to do it as our squad has a great mix of youth and experience. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster season so far, but everyone knows we have a team capable of going deep into September.
I believe the momentum is building week-by-week and our new ‘fortress’ – Bankwest Stadium – is going to play a vital role.
Blessed with a hurricane
I mentioned earlier that I’d reveal how Sara and I named our children.
Our eldest is daughter Kahlia. That’s a Hawaiian name which means ‘pure, clear and bright.’ We got together a list of about 10 girls’ names we liked and narrowed it down to Kahlia.
Hurricane, our first son, was named because of a conversation I had with my father when I was 14. He told me he was fascinated by the famous story of Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, the American middleweight boxer who was wrongly convicted of murder and did 20 years in jail before he was finally released.
Dad loved that story and admired Carter so much that he wanted to name his first son Hurricane. When I arrived, Mum said no way, and that my name would be Bradley. Dad was filthy but, at the same time, happy and thankful I was born healthy and strong.
I decided growing up that if I was ever blessed with a son, I’d call him Hurricane.
Sara was a bit ‘iffy’ but when he was born, she piped up and said, ‘Yep, he looks like a Hurricane.’ All I can say is that he is living right up to his name!
Our youngest – Hayze – just turned 1. No great story around that one, we just liked the name and went with it.
I’d like to give a massive rap to Sara who blows me away with everything she does for our family. Only Kahlia is at school, so she has got the two boys at home every day when I’m out training or travelling. And that’s a lot of days!
Sara makes it a lot easier for me on the field by keeping home happy and sane. Speaking honestly, I don’t have to do too much with the kids when I get home – Sara is so good with them, she has it all covered.
Life is looking pretty good as you read this. Parra has laid the foundations for a successful year and everyone is enjoying our awesome new home ground.
You can sense the old confidence is coming back, and things on the family front couldn’t be better.
There is no need to kick any stones. We all just need to score more tries and kick more goals.