All Stars diary – Luke Brooks
Named on the bench for the NRL All Stars for Friday night, young Wests Tigers half Luke Brooks on getting to know his idols, sitting on the other side of a youth summit and what the boys are doing for fun.
All Stars camp
I wasn't really sure what to expect being such a new thing for me but I was looking forward to getting amongst the players that are in the team and learn a few things off them as well. It's been a good experience so far and can't wait to play on Friday night.
On the training field with the calibre of player that you're surrounded by it's just another level compared to what I'm used to. The way the boys do each drill is so crisp and everyone knows their role and it's just awesome to be a part of it. The only guy I've played with before is Dylan Walker so there is a lot you can learn just by being around them.
When coach Wayne Bennett first came into camp it was a bit daunting but he's easy to get along with. He hasn't said too much at this stage but I'm looking forward to playing for him on Friday night in whatever role he needs me to play.
I'm rooming with Kieran Foran this week and back in the hotel room me and Kieran have been talking about all sorts of stuff. A bit of footy, stuff away from the game. We've only been together two nights so far but he's such a great player, hopefully I can pick up some stuff as the week goes on.
I only finished school a couple of years ago so it was good to get a bit of a refresher on some of the things I learned back at school. I struggled a bit in a few of the quizzes that we were given, I'd forgotten all about it, but the kids were great and really appreciated us spending some time with them.
Sitting next to the kids you could tell how pumped they were and they were telling us how excited they were to meet the players they watch on TV. It's a good feeling and it's good for us to do our bit and spend some time with a great group of kids.
I actually really admire these kids and their commitment to study because when I was at school I was focused on footy and probably didn't concentrate in class as much as I should have. Looking back on it now I wish I'd done as well at school as I did at footy.
Fun and games
The schedule has been pretty busy so far but this afternoon we had some free time which was nice. A few of the boys went for a surf, some went to Dreamworld and did some stuff with the tigers which would have been pretty cool. Myself, Matty Moylan, Dylan Walker and Jeremy Smith went for a game of mini golf and it's safe to say I saw parts of the course that few people get to see. And there's no such thing as a free drop with these boys.
Tonight we're attending a dinner with all the teams who are taking part on Friday night so it's going to be great to mix with those guys and hear about how excited they are to be playing, just as I am.
As for the game itself, I think it will be pretty quick. They've got a great side with Inglis and Thurston so it's going to be a tough game so I think being on the bench might be a bit easier for me. That wasy I can get a feel for the game and hopefully get a few minutes whenever Wayne wants to put me in.
I was only 15 when the first All Stars game was played in 2010 and even then I thought it was a pretty cool concept and something I'd love to do one day. It wasn't something I expected to be in this quickly but I'm really excited and can't wait to get out there.