FOOTY FEVER

IT’S GAME ON FOR BRON­COS LEG­END COREY PARKER AS NRL SEA­SON KICKS OFF TONIGHT

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - SEANNA CRONIN

Af­ter 16 years of lac­ing up his boots as a footy player, Corey Parker now pre­pares for game day in a dif­fer­ent way. The re­tired Bron­cos leg­end is in his sec­ond year as a com­men­ta­tor for Fox League, Fox Sports’ ded­i­cated NRL chan­nel.

“I’m one of the for­tu­nate ones,” he says.

“To play the game for such a long pe­riod of time and now still be in­volved in the game both in Bris­bane and at Fox League is pretty cool.

“On the com­men­tary side of things you just tell it how you see it through the eyes of an ex-foot­baller.

“It would be silly of me not to look at guys like An­drew Voss and Peter Ster­ling and not take ad­vice off them.

“One of the big things I did take out of all that is just be real, be you and don’t put on a fa­cade be­cause you are go­ing to of­fend some peo­ple but there’s a re­spect­ful way of do­ing that.”

So how ex­actly does he feel about call­ing the shots when it’s his for­mer team­mates on the field?

“At times it can be an up­side be­cause you might know some back­ground about how that may have panned out, but other times you might have to give a com­ment that might be a neg­a­tive one. You’ve got to give it; peo­ple don’t want to see you sit­ting on the fence,” he says. “With TV in par­tic­u­lar I think peo­ple can see through bulls*** very quickly. I’ve had to ap­proach life af­ter footy the same as I did when I was at footy. It comes down to the prep you put in your work.”

Parker be­lieves this year’s com­pe­ti­tion will be the tight­est it has been in years.

“Last year I think you could re­ally split the com­pe­ti­tion in terms of the top eight and lower eight sides,” he says.

“There’s been so much chop­ping and chang­ing of play­ers this year on any given day a team could win the game. It’s go­ing to be a close one.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing new play­ers and new chem­istry within teams. Ob­vi­ously Cooper Cronk is at the Roost­ers now, Mitchell Pearce at the Knights, Jack Bird’s at the Bron­cos, Ben Hunt is at the Dragons – some big-name play­ers have gone to dif­fer­ent teams in re­ally cru­cial po­si­tions.”

What do Parker’s most im­por­tant crit­ics, his four chil­dren, think of his new job on telly?

“If they had their choice they’d like to see dad back play­ing again (laughs),” he says. “My young fella starts footy this year ac­tu­ally and they’re al­ways telling me to go back and play. Ob­vi­ously it’s not as ex­cit­ing (for them) watch­ing me talk­ing se­ri­ous rugby league on the tele­vi­sion.”

The 2018 NRL sea­son starts tonight when the Bron­cos play the Dragons at 6.50pm Qld, 7.50pm NSW. Fox League airs ev­ery round live and ad-break free dur­ing play

PEO­PLE DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU SIT­TING ON THE FENCE

Fox Sports' Fox League com­men­ta­tors in­clude Corey Parker, Kevin Wal­ters, Gor­den Tal­lis and Yvonne Samp­son.

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