Player Column – Brock Higgins State Game

Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 11:02 AM by Brock Higgins

LOOKING back on everything to do with the State game last week, it was one of the best experiences I've had in footy. 

At the start it can be a bit awkward at training and getting to know the blokes, but as the week built last week and we spent more time together, you get to know everyone a bit better and the excitement comes into the group about what you are attempting to do. Then the whole trip over there to go somewhere different and play on Adelaide Oval, which is a pretty massive thing, before a Showdown is huge. 

Then it's a strange one because you are playing against a team who you have no idea who anyone is and they don't know us, and we don’t usually play together. So it was a funny thing but it was a great experience and afterwards getting that win was just amazing with all the WA boys. The night that ensued was pretty good as well.

In the lead up to the game, it really wasn’t too awkward getting together as a group the weeks leading up to it while still playing against each other on weekends because we only had a Monday session which we just used for recovery. You just talk about the weekend and it's a little bit strange, but not as much as you think and then we really only had last week to actually train together and that was great.

When I found out I had made the team, I was obviously very happy and just proud really that I was selected. I don’t really think too much of it now, but in five or 10 years' time when I look back on my career, I'm sure one of my highlights will be that I got to represent my state. I've done it now and can tick off the list.

Honest to god, the only other time I've actually ever thought of playing for WA was last year when I was in the training squad. But apart from that it's not something I've ever thought about. I dream of winning a premiership but not playing for your state so it's a great little bonus to have been able to do it.

The flying part over to Adelaide sucked, to be honest, because it was just a little Qantas Link plane. But once you get there, everyone is really excited and we went to Adelaide Oval on the Friday to have a walkaround which got everyone pretty excited for the game even more. I like that whole experience and it's a different prep to a normal game. Usually I'm pretty set in my routine and don’t like change, but when you're in Adelaide playing for your state, you don't really mind doing different things. The hotel was nice too so it was all good.

I have played in an away trip before when I was at East Perth and we played a Foxtel Cup game against Williamstown at Etihad Stadium. That was a good night as well and very similar in a lot of ways to the State game trip, except for what we were playing for. There's obviously a lot more riding on representing WA and we were pretty focused and determined to get the win. We were still focused for that Foxtel Cup game, but 2011 was such a long time ago. I just remember thinking it's just another game but both were good trips.

The game itself was exciting to be part of. It seemed to go very quick – at a fast-pace and time wise because they were 27-minute flat quarters. I think the pace was electric there pretty much from start to finish and I got a bit more of a rest there than I normally do as well which was kind of nice. I thought it was a good game and would have been good to watch because it was fast and good quality. It was touch and go for most of it, but once we had kicked two or three and there was only three minutes to go, the relief set in and that was a good feeling.

One of the main things everyone was so happy about was that it was the first time any WA team had won in Adelaide since 1994. The fact also that we proved the WAFL was the best competition outside the AFL was a major thing.

I think it's inevitable you make some new friends out of a trip like that and at the end of the day, when we are here in the WAFL we're bunkered down in our separate clubs and think things of certain clubs and they think things of us. But we are all a bunch of mid to late 20-year-olds doing the same thing so we have a lot in common. I got along with everyone on the trip and the win bonds you together, and then the night out afterwards galvanised that even further.

It's now back to business for us in the WAFL and it’s a massive game for us this week against East Perth. It's probably one of the biggest ones of the season for us. They are travelling really well after Round 1 and we are both going pretty well since we lost to Subi. It's a massive game this week and we'll have to wait and see what their team will be like. So we'll prepare for them at full strength and hope for the best.