Adam Reynolds, the hailed skipper of Brisbane Broncos, has fervently defended his former teammate Latrell Mitchell. Mitchell, an ace player from the Rabbitohs, has found himself the repeated target of stringent criticism recently.
Mitchell has often been the object of critique owing to his status, high-profile and candour consistently placing him under scrutiny. The latest string of critique has been from Rod Churchill, the progeny of legendary NRL player Clive Churchill, who dubbed Mitchell as a ‘myth’ and ‘cancer’ after an uninspiring performance against Newcastle.
Adding to Mitchell’s troubles, he was handed a one-game suspension in the aftermath of the match against Newcastle, making him unavailable for the imperative clash with their bitter foes, the Sydney Roosters. This chain of events was succeeded by reports insinuating favouritism by coach Jason Demetriou towards Mitchell and Cody Walker, which led to assistant Sam Burgess exiting the club.
Nevertheless, Reynolds encourages Mitchell to pay no heed to the outside noise, maintaining that viewpoints from outside the inner circle of the Rabbitohs should be deemed irrelevant.
“With Latrell, it’s critical that he remains true to himself and his beliefs. Opinions vary; not everyone shares the same perspective and everyone has a right to voice their ideas,” says Reynolds.
Reynolds, who genuinely admires Mitchell both as a friend and for his passionate display on the field, continues, “I remember the same situation persisting when I was at the club. I’m uncertain whether it’s due to his unique persona or the fact that he’s a major figure in the game.”
Reynolds affirms that Mitchell’s solid stance in the game, along with his incredible support system, will continue undeterred upon his comeback post-suspension.
While Reynolds hasn’t shared the field with Mitchell for two years, he’s partnering with another fullback in the 2023 season, Reece Walsh—an unusual player who also attracts external criticism.
Walsh has proven to be an astute purchase for the Broncos due to his transformative influence on the team. The youngster enjoyed a State of Origin debut and has been instrumental in turning the Broncos‘ fortunes around from final outsiders to potential minor premiership winners.
Earlier in the year, Walsh served a three-week suspension due to an uncontrolled tirade on the field, prompting criticism from various game pundits questioning his maturity.
However, Reynolds maintains that Walsh’s evolution as a player is evident since his return and the youngster has swiftly rectified his reported misdemeanours while ignoring any criticism.
Commenting on Walsh’s improvement, Reynolds states, “He has become much more composed on the field. While he may be erratic at times, it’s an aspect we adore about him.”
Reynolds also appreciates Walsh’s instinctive playing style, stating, “He has the uncanny knack of coming up with unexpected moves, which can be game-changers. Despite the burden of high expectations, he appears unbothered.”
In conclusion, Reynolds sums up, Walsh is a determined player who wants to win and compete fiercely in the game.