Grange star aims to improve in 2014

By Beth Newman

Last year’s Division One coaches rated him the best player in the competition, but Wilston Grange’s Steve Brittain reckons there’s room to improve in 2014.

The 2013 MVP winner missed six games through injury and illness and played down his performance, saying it was really just “a couple of good games.”

An off-season shoulder reconstruction has him in some doubt for round one, but once he’s back, the 25 year-old said he wants to rack up as many games as possible.

“If I can get every game this year, that’ll be handy,” he said.

“I’m not sure if I’ll be back for the start of the season with this (shoulder) yet but once I’m back, hopefully I’ll play every game.”

While he is still only relatively young in footballing terms, Brittain has become somewhat of a mentor for the younger Gorillas, and it’s a role that he wants to continue to develop.

“It comes naturally, really because when you train with them, you end up just mentoring them, just out of being mates with them,” he said.

Admitting a tendency to adopt tunnel vision on the field, Brittain wants to become more of an on-field leader.

“At times, I think I go a bit inside myself, and I wouldn’t mind putting a bit more direction on field,” he said.

“I probably want to have more of an impact that way rather than just trying to focus on what my role is and what I’ve got to do.”

Despite such a strong season last year, which also saw him a runaway winner of the club’s best and fairest, Brittain shrugs off the idea of external pressure or expectations.

“I try to keep it pretty in house, I don’t really worry about what the other teams are doing or whether their focus is on me or not.  I try and just focus on what we’re doing and get on with it.

“Maybe the first year I came, there was a little bit of expectation from the other guys, but not now.

“They’re pretty much my best mates so if they’re pressuring me they’re kidding themselves”

One of the biggest adjustments Brittain faced in 2013 was seeing close friend, and roommate, Matt Trewhella, step in as senior coach, but he said

“I’ve never had a player coach before so it was a bit different,” he said.

 “It ended up being like having another captain on the field. He was one of the boys before he was coach and he still is.

“I think it was just about applying that respect on the field and listening to him and then when I go home with him and just drop back into being mates.”

Keeping the core of their list for the 2014 season, Brittain said he was excited to see how they would stack up against the other QAFL sides.

“With Toughy (David Tough) and blokes like that, it’s pretty hard for it to not be pretty bubbly and positive,” he said.

“I don’t know how the comp’s going to go this year, but hopefully our experience will give us some pull.”

“We’ve got enough good players and experience and a couple of new recruits so I think we’ll be fine, we’ll pick the pace up pretty well.”

The QAFL has been reformed in season 2014 due to a restructure of the NEAFL competition.

The Queensland Australian Football League aspires to be the best community-based football competition in the state.  Provide a player pathway to the NEAFL/AFL and provide opportunities for the best community players to represent their clubs in a quality competition.

Clubs applied for a QAFL licence based on 6 core pillars (Administration, Finance, Brand & Culture, Performance, Facilities and Strategic Plan).

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