North Sydney Bears Coach Shane Millard says he wants his players to keep enjoying themselves week in and week out despite the outcome of a match.
After losing their first three games of the season, the Bears got the monkey off the back on Saturday with a comfortable 28-10 victory over the Newcastle Knights.
While confidence may have been low heading into the game at McDonald Jones Stadium, Millard pointed out three areas that helped his side maintain their focus.
“Giving them less information, trying to keep a narrow focus on what they need to do well, making sure they believe in themselves and the third thing, which I think is very important at our level, is making sure that they are enjoying themselves,” said Millard.
“I’m a big fan of just moving on, if it’s a loss, cop your medicine and get on with it I don’t want to see sad heads at training on Monday.”
While Millard has been extremely impressed with the attitude shown by his young side, it was the leadership of dummy-half Robbie Farah that he couldn’t be more thankful for.
“At the moment its gold because he gives a lot of confidence to the young guys,” said Millard.
“I’m sure Robbie would want to be playing first grade but it is what it is and the way he has handled it has been very professional and I can’t thank him enough.”
Not only did the Bears the class of Farah guiding them around the park, they also welcomed back young gun Campbell Graham, who made a sensational return to form just two games back from injury.
“We all know of Campbell’s ability but to have his second game back and really dominate the way he did, just showed how much class he has, he was super,” said Millard.
Millard was also complimentary of the entire squad, who have so far shown experience beyond their years.
“It’s a super young team, that’s very talented,” Millard explained.
“It is a bit of a working progress but they’ve done a really good job with a great attitude and it was good to see the young blokes get rewarded with a win on the weekend.”
The Bears will finally get a chance to play at their spiritual home, North Sydney Oval this Saturday, and Millard is hoping the occasion will lift his players against the League leaders, the Western Suburb Magpies.
“It will be a good test for us. Wests are going well as a club right now, they are on a bit of a high at the moment,” said Millard.
“We can only control what we can control but being down at North Sydney Oval will help us. It’s a TV game, all the young blokes will have their haircuts ready for to go, it’s the perfect situation really.
“We’re coming off the back of a good win, playing a team that’s in form, which usually brings the best out of the players and we’re really looking forward to getting stuck in.”