Brotherly love inspired Reynolds to play
If there was one word in the dictionary that didn't require a definition, it would have to be 'community'.
It's one simple word but it has roughly seven billion different meanings.
For Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds, no one meant more to him growing up than his older brother Wayne.
They might have been born two years apart but the bothers were inseparable in their younger days; their bond so tight that Adam still lists Wayne as his biggest inspiration in life.
Now a premiership-winning halfback with State of Origin experience, Reynolds sat down with NRL.com to reflect on his earliest memories on the footy field.
"I started playing as a young fella when I was three or four years old with my brother who is two years older than me," Reynolds said.
"Everything that he wanted to do, I wanted to be a part of. That's how I fell in love with the game. I didn't do too much in my first few years of playing, but I just loved being out there alongside him.
"I was pretty much just picking up grass and I remember I wasn't too interested in making tackles back then. It was all fun and games playing with your mates and being on the same field as my brother.
"He's two years older than me so we didn't get a chance to play together much throughout our careers, and I guess that's why I cherish those early memories."
Fortunately for South Sydney fans Reynolds moved on from his days as an amateur gardener fairly quickly to forge an impressive junior career with St Peters, Alexandria Rovers and Kensington United.
Had it not been for the collapse of several teams in the Balmain comp his career path might have been very different, but his love for the local community brought him back to where it all began and the rest, as they say, is history.
Reynolds was named the Dally M Rookie of the Year in 2012, won a premiership two years later and then made his NSW Blues debut last season to cap off a stellar start to his NRL career.
While a lot has changed on and off the field in those five seasons, one thing has remained constant in and around Redfern; the community's love for rugby league.
The only thing prouder than the Rabbitohs' storied history is their fans, and as we sat down for the interview on a warm Friday afternoon at Redfern Oval it was clear to see why.
No matter the occasion, fans will flock to see their favourite players as they train at the famous suburban paddock.
On this occasion the Rabbitohs had just finished having their team photo taken for the 2017 season and there were easily a dozen fans sitting in the stands.
From five-year-old brothers decked out from head to toe in merchandise wanting to get a photo with Greg Inglis to an elderly lady keen to know about the wellbeing of a Holden Cup player, this team means the world to the people of South Sydney.
That's what makes it so special for the players who, according to Reynolds, lift a gear on the back of the community's support.
"It's a rugby league community and everyone loves it in this area. It makes everyone happy. It's good to see families get together on the weekend and go to a park and play a game. It brings a smile to a lot of faces here," he said.
"We get a fair amount of support every week from locals in the community, and we love it. It doesn't matter how old they are; they'll make sure they come here to support us.
"The park is always open so people are encouraged to come down and watch and we buzz off that.
"It's great to put smiles on kids' faces when we chat to them after training, and hopefully it can inspire some of them to play the game when they're a bit older."
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