Earlier today, within the Sydney Olympic Park precinct, the 2014 Holden State of Origin campaign commenced for the NSW VB Blues. Since the conclusion of last year’s series, Head Coach Laurie Daley has focused on ensuring that he has the required structures in place to ensure that the improvements achieved in 2013 continue.
Over the next few months, Daley will unveil a number of significant changes to the preparations for the 2014 State of Origin series that will ensure the level of professionalism required to be a high performing team is enhanced.
As an entrée to these changes, Daley announced that this year he would base his camps in Coffs Harbour ahead of the two Brisbane matches. The NSW VB Blues will also be based at the Sydney Olympic Park precinct ahead of Game Two, at ANZ Stadium.
Daley made the announcement as players assembled for a two-day camp at Sydney Olympic Park, designed to begin their preparations for the series and inform them of the important changes to their routine.
“The team will now be based out of Novotel Coffs Harbour Pacific Bay Resort in the lead up to Games One and Three and ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park for the build-up to Game Two,” Daley said.
“We want the best venue for our players to be able to utilise high performance training facilities that will best equip them for the biggest games on the Rugby League stage.
“Coffs Harbour offers that for the Brisbane games. For the Sydney game, we will be at ANZ Stadium because of the facilities which the Sydney Olympic Park precinct offers but more importantly, because it is our home.”
Novotel Coffs Harbour Executive Assistant Manager, Jodie Evans, said the resort was excited to be a part of the NSW VB Blues State of Origin camps.
“The camps will receive national media exposure and provide economic benefit to the city during the Origin campaign along with assisting the development of Rugby League on the North Coast,” Evans said.
“We look forward to working with NSWRL to assist with the team’s focus to win the State of Origin series for NSW in 2014 and we thank our local supporters at Coffs Harbour City Council and ETC (Employment & Training Centre) for assisting us with this bid.”
Michael Close, Chief Executive Officer for ETC, said the NSW VB Blues’ commitment was a wonderful and much-needed boost for local Rugby League and for the Coffs Harbour community.
“For Coffs Harbour to be associated with the VB NSW Blues in what is Australian sport’s most watched television event and to have the players and legends training and engaging with the community is very exciting to be a part of,” Close said.
ANZ Stadium Managing Director Daryl Kerry praised the initiative of the NSWRL and coach Laurie Daley in setting up camp at Sydney Olympic Park leading in to Game Two of this year’s series.
“It’s a fantastic initiative and further cements the strong relationship between the Blues and Sydney Olympic Park, in the geographical centre of Sydney,” Mr Kerry said.
“The park was a sea of blue last year as more than 164,000 fans attended the two State of Origin games at ANZ Stadium, and already tickets are moving fast for Game Two of this year’s series on Wednesday June 18.”
The announcement was made at a dinner involving current and former NSW VB Blues squad members during a preliminary camp ahead of the 2014 series. Daley has brought together a squad comprising players from previous campaigns for the two-day camp.
“I think it is important to start the season early with some of the playing group and let them know not only our expectations, but what they can look forward to from us this year,” Daley said.
“Having a large part of the group together so early in the season will allow us to build on what we have developed over the last 12 months.
“It’s important to note that all of the players present at this weekend’s camp have been in and around Origin over the last two years and are only a representation of the potential squad that will take the field in 2014. Nothing would be more exciting than for multiple players in each position to put their hand up to become part of this year’s series.”