A buoyant Darius Boyd has declared he is mentally prepared for at least one more season with Brisbane and has not ruled out taking up an option in his favour and playing on in 2021.
The captain was one of his side’s best in the 28-6 win over Canterbury on Thursday night where he set up a try to Corey Oates with a trademark cut-out pass. He was also the link man for Jamayne Isaako to score on the cusp of half-time. That performance followed a superb defensive display in the front line in the 18-all draw against the Warriors the previous week.
Boyd, who turned 32 on Wednesday, is aware of the speculation surrounding his future but does not get bogged down in what is written about him. Reinvigorated by his new role, Boyd joked he might "play for another five or six years".
On a serious note, he was asked whether he would be taking up his player option for 2021.
"It would be more of a mental thing than anything. Body wise it is fine," Boyd said.
"This week I feel great but last week I felt terrible after the game. I was really sore and bumped around and the 90 minutes really took it out of me. I think most players say that when they do retire it is when you wake up and you can’t keep putting the same efforts in all the time.
Match Highlights: Broncos v Bulldogs
"My body feels good from a physical point of view but it is probably backing up and all that type of stuff that gets harder and harder.
"I’ve noticed that over the last year or two but it is one of those things that you take year by year."
As for next year, Boyd is was emphatic when asked whether he was ready to wake up each morning and bounce into training for another season in the top grade.
"Yes. Whether my performances have been good, bad or indifferent this year I have had some really good performances and I think tonight was one of them. That gives me the confidence," he said.
"I know you have to keep proving to yourself and others as well that you can do the job."
Boyd does a lot of work in the community in the mental health sphere where he outlines how to build a positive internal mindset no matter what is going on in events that are largely beyond an individual’s control.
His availability each week over the last month to speak about his own individual performance, while remaining upbeat, shows how Boyd is walking the talk on that.
In his post-match media conference after the win over Canterbury, Anthony Seibold said Boyd had told him in the sheds how much he was enjoying his new role.
"Yeah, I think my first outing at five-eighth wasn’t enjoyable but the last two have been really enjoyable," he said.
"I love coming to work. I wouldn’t even call it work because I love what I do and love playing rugby league. I love the group we have. I love the Broncos."
Boyd’s philosophy is to take a piece of good news and turn it into an opportunity to forge a positive mindset.
A Broncos staff member passed on that the Telstra Tracker recorded him against Cronulla as hitting the top speed [equal with Xavier Coates] for the whole competition at 34.3 km/h. That snippet of information reinforced what he knew was a solid base of fitness, and he used it to build his own self-belief.
"In the pre-season I was getting some really good feedback from the staff about some of the speeds I was running. That is what has given me confidence to go out and back myself each week because I am in really good shape,” he said.
"It is just about the mental side of it and working within Seibs’ structures. Trying to lead a young team around, I have probably got that wrong on different days and different weeks but at the moment things are going well and hopefully we can keep that going.
"I’m not going to say it is easy [at five-eighth] but it is a lot easier than playing fullback in my opinion. Obviously the defence is harder but there is a lot less running.
"It is more short running … up 10 [metres] and back 10 sort of stuff but I am not doing 30-metre sprints around the back or returning kicks which I found a lot more physically taxing. Maybe I can play for another five or six years …"