Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues Coach Brad Fittler signed off on a memorable opening of the new NSWRL’s Centre of Excellence with a heartfelt message to all NSW fans.
“If I look back on my life and I think, did I do anything really well? I’ve got to say timing is the thing that I’ve nailed,” Fittler said.
“All the work was done before I got here and I ended up being the coach when it finally gets built.
“The State of Origin team are only going to use this for a couple of weeks, but, we need to make it something for every single person in NSW.
“We can touch as many people as possible, encourage as many people as possible, create as many leaders as possible.”
The Centre of Excellence will be used by the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues for their State of Origin preparations but also by all other representative teams including women’s and pathways.
It will also be available for local and international teams from other sports and the building is also home to the Country Rugby League, Kari Foundation, University of New England and the Men of League Foundation.
Fittler stressed the Centre of Excellence is a place for the future.
"We need to work out ways to make this the centre of NSW Rugby League where kids want to be,” he said.
“This will be the centre of anything good that happens in our game going forward.
“We need to put our heart into everything we do and if we do, a lot of good will come from this building.”
There were a number of former champion NSW players, and decorated Rugby League officials, who had rooms named in their honour at the opening which was attended by more than 200 guests.
Fittler was one of those players but he revealed there were two rules that had to be followed for anyone wanting to use the “Brad Fittler Lounge”, a large dining room and social area where players and guests will be able to unwind.
“All mobile phones will be barred and you have to wear a smile, simple as that.”