Robbie Farah opens up on rift with Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor
February 13, 2016 9:48pm
EXCLUSIVE Peter Badel
ROBBIE Farah has opened up about his rift with Tigers coach Jason Taylor and his decision to walk away from the captaincy, admitting: “I never wanted to go through what I went through last year.”
One of the code’s most polarising characters, Farah broke his silence on the most turbulent period of his decorated career, revealing he is again happy in life and football.
It has been a gut-wrenching past six months for the NSW Origin hooker, who was told by coach Taylor last August that he was surplus to requirements for the 2016 season.
But after digging his heels in, Farah survived, smoked the peace pipe with Taylor and showed on Saturday night why he is NSW’s premier hooker by helping the Tigers to an 18-16 trial defeat of the Storm.
There is a view Farah’s relationship with Taylor is beyond repair following the events of last season, but the 32-year-old has promised Tigers fans a bumper campaign in 2016.
“The last three or four months I have found my happiness again,” he said.
“The best thing I ever did was to stand down from the captaincy and it’s allowed me to go to training, focus on myself and not get caught up and distracted in everything else around me.
“I don’t worry about that stuff anymore. That’s been good for me to take a back seat with the captaincy.
“While I’m still a leader, a lot of the other commitments that come with the captaincy, it has been a burden for me.”
Farah, who returned to Australia on Wednesday after attending the Super Bowl, has been labelled an abrasive personality but says even his teammates have noticed a calmer individual in pre-season.
“I’m a bit of a footy head and I used to take my stresses home with me, but now I go to training and rip in and when I go home, I switch off and relax,” he said.
“I feel refreshed now and I think the boys will tell you I’m a lot more relaxed with the way I’ve been training and hopefully I’ll take that into what will be a good season for me.
“I’ll admit I struggled with a lot of things, especially with the circumstances around our club in the last couple of years.
“When you are the captain, you are in the forefront of everything going on and people are coming to you wanting answers.
“It was a weight on my shoulders and that’s affected my footy to be honest in the last couple of years.
“I wasn’t enjoying my football for a while but I can definitely say the last three or four months has changed my mindset.”
Farah insists he can work with Taylor this season and has pledged to play a more attacking style in 2016 after an off-season appraisal with halves Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses.
“I don’t want to dwell on the past too much,” he said.
“Everyone knows the timeline and the process, I was staying and going.
“It was a difficult time, but I’ve put it to bed with Jason and I’m here, hopefully for good.
“It’s a club I love, I never wanted to go through what I went through last year. But we’ve dealt with it, I’ve moved on and I’m making sure I have a good season.
“We’ve set some goals. I’m working on our attacking structure with Mitchell and Brooksy. We have made good progress there so he has given me a lot of confidence.
“While we aren’t the finished product, we are excited about the little changes we have made with our structures.”